WHAT SOME CRITICS ARE SAYING ABOUT HEAVYDRUNK's HOLYWATER:
★ "A smart, stylish take on deep-dish Dixie soul is served up on a consistent basis by this solid, savvy rhythm-and-horns outfit. And frontman and principal songwriter Rob Robinson’s sandpaper vocals are well-suited for the decidedly Waits-ian atmosphere that emerges on occasion."
(Duane Verh/Roots Music Report
"Just the thought of Holy Water suggests everything right. Leader Rob Robinson and HeavyDrunk combine a tangle of roots into their killer music. Blues, gospel, jazz, and soul all feed the songs, but with distinctive attitude and flair…The band damn near out-Stones the Stones on the ultra-funky 'Slave,' a left-field home run from the Jagger/Richards songbook.... brilliance...What an exciting, soul-stirring introduction to some truly excellent players and singers this album is! Their attitude is matched by their panache." (Tom Clarke/Elmore)
"What I like about HeavyDrunk is it takes some chances. It’s bold. But it also knows how far to push the envelope, when to pull back, what makes good writing, and what makes good storytelling and interesting music. It knows the art of tongue-in-cheek humor and it knows how to get to you musically without coming on too strong. Think Randy Newman, Leon Russell, or Tom Waits. And, just so you know, the group’s unusual name comes from a quote attributed to the late blues guitarist, Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown."
(Tom Henry/Toledo Blade
"HeavyDrunk is a 9-piece soul-blues band that features vocals, drums, bass, keyboards, two guitars, two horns and a pair of background singers. Leading the way is vocalist, guitarist and main writer, Rob Robinson…the band lays down 13 tracks including 11 originals and two covers [including] a tough as nails version of the Stones' 'Slave'…decidedly funky…greasy…I predict may spins of this disc. WOW!" (Mark Smith/Jazz & Blues Report)
"HeavyDrunk, doesn’t take itself too seriously which is usually a good thing. Better yet, the soulful grooves, fun, and sizzling energy of this nine piece soul blues band often hit the mark…Some of these players have impressive resumes, having worked with Prince and/or ‘Keb ‘Mo’. Trombonist Roy Agee is one of Nashville’s most sought after session players and pianist James Hooker is notable for supporting Nanci Griffith. One of the background vocalists, Renee Armand, wrote with Michael Jackson and Hoyt Axton. You’ll hear her distinctive gospel voice coming through. The album kicks off the fiery cautionary tale of 'If I love You Hard Enough' [with] attention-getting risqué imagery... the tune has some strong horn parts and an angry, aggressive guitar solo. 'Walking to the Mission in the Rain' brings a funky groove and Tower of Power-like horns. This mood changes dramatically for the title track where Robinson pays homage to his late grandmother with a mellow, piano-driven tune more n the vein of Randy Newman or Leon Russell...'I Can’t Be Satisfied' (not the Muddy Waters tune of the same name) has a cool story about girl who took her food truck she called Hippie Chick to various campgrounds. She had chickens living on the truck so when Robinson sings 'don’t scorch those scrambling eggs' it’s another example of the band’s penchant for serving up humor, complete with squawking chickens as the tune fades out. Driven by horns and prominent B3, it’s one of the standout tracks…'Memphis' has the requisite soul groove with Robinson singing in a falsetto a la Al Green with great band and vocal support with some of the grooves evoking CCR’s 'Proud Mary.' It could be the best indicator of how soulful this band gets...some excellent musical moments within…" (Jim Hynes/Making A Scene)
"This is HeavyDrunk’s 3rd album and it’s a beauty. Bluesy soul out of Nashville slathered in tangy barbeque sauce, Holywater is unforgettable...The blistering opening track 'If I Loved You Hard Enough' felt much like classic ZZ Top, Robinson’s voice having a similar timbre to Billy Gibbons’s, but the horn section swings like mad. When it comes time to throw down a ballad like 'High On Love' the results are heartfelt and arresting, worthy of a romantic scene in any movie, and 'Somebody’s Got To Take Them Panties Off' is humorously charming. The range of grooves and emotion over the course of the record makes for mad fun.
"Encompassing vocals, drums, bass, keyboards, two guitars, two horns and a pair of soulful background singers into the mix, Holywater sizzles from start to finish."
"memorable stuff part delta blues, mingled with Tom Waits, Randy Newman with a touch of Springsteen thrown in for good measure."
(Jim Clark/The Courier
"I was intrigued from the start…and the more I listened to them, the more I wanted to hear. My first thought was that Tom Waits had taken a walk down south, but as the album progressed, so much more came to light. This is soul-blues infused hints of gospel, jazz and Southern rock...a diverse album that ranges from what may soon be considered classic rocking bar tunes to incredibly soulful numbers. Every time I thought I had this band figured out; they took another sharp turn, and I was happy to go along for the ride. I can’t honestly say when I’ve enjoyed an album of this sort so much. I recommend it highly."
(Bill Wilson/ Reflections In Blue
"A wild mash up...of a bunch of deep Southern soul, funk and blues, the lyrics alone are enough to set your eyes to wide open wonder. The thunderous music that backs it up will also set your eyes to wide open wonder. Clearly a subway ride through places you’ve ever been even if you thought you knew you knew where you were going when you started out... this is a rewarding trip for the strong of heart that want to be reacquainted by bold creativity. Killer stuff." (Chris Spector/Midwest Record)
Rob Robinson's iconic sounding vocals surrounded by the wonderful gospel-like back-up singers, mixed with a tremendous horn section and guitar boogie held together by the band's steady rhythm section…powerful." (John Pasinski/JP's Music Blog)
"HeavyDrunk cooks on and off stage...This is memorable stuff part delta blues, mingled with Tom Waits, Randy Newman with a touch of Springsteen thrown in for good measure. I was hooked at the first note of the first song."
(Jim Clark/Lee County Courier