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Hopeless Jack & the Handsome Devil sounds down home

To criticize the progressive whitening of the blues, a trend that may have gotten jump-started during the electrified 1970s, would be pointless. African-American origins notwithstanding, blues audiences have shifted away from those roots, as have a good number of the practitioners of the art. But every now and then something comes along that sounds down home. In this case, it’s Hopeless Jack & the Handsome Devil, a guitar-and-drums duo from the Pacific Northwest. There’s a country aspect to this band’s farm-bred folk music as well. But when they get deep into their own blues mix, the sound comes straight out of an era neither musician could have experienced firsthand — namely, the early days of John Lee Hooker.

No, not the boogie-rock that was made prominent by classic-rock titans like Canned Heat, but Hooker’s own swamp delirium, a simple bag of riffs that sound as if culled from malaria dreams, or a weeklong bender, or both. Now, imagine Iggy Pop doing this music and you have an idea of what Hopeless Jack is all about. Garage blues, with tattoos and earrings.

Past Event

Hopeless Jack & the Handsome Devil

  • Wednesday, April 15, 2015, 8 p.m.
  • Brick by Brick, 1130 Buenos Avenue, San Diego
  • $8

Slide guitarist/singer Jack Beisel and drummer Peter Thomas met up about five years ago when they were both pulling shifts in a Portland bar; prior, Beisel had been a solo act. Jam sessions convinced the two to make a band. They perfected the sound in area clubs like Dante’s and Tiger Bar, then hit the road in a hard way. A head-on collision (the only casualty was their tour van) stalled progress for a while, but now Hopeless Jack & the Handsome Devil are back on the road with at least five different tours planned throughout the U.S. for 2015. Punk blues? Not really. It’s about the ethos of musicians who came of age during the post-punk era. And there’s no taking the Caucasian out of this act, but still...

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To criticize the progressive whitening of the blues, a trend that may have gotten jump-started during the electrified 1970s, would be pointless. African-American origins notwithstanding, blues audiences have shifted away from those roots, as have a good number of the practitioners of the art. But every now and then something comes along that sounds down home. In this case, it’s Hopeless Jack & the Handsome Devil, a guitar-and-drums duo from the Pacific Northwest. There’s a country aspect to this band’s farm-bred folk music as well. But when they get deep into their own blues mix, the sound comes straight out of an era neither musician could have experienced firsthand — namely, the early days of John Lee Hooker.

No, not the boogie-rock that was made prominent by classic-rock titans like Canned Heat, but Hooker’s own swamp delirium, a simple bag of riffs that sound as if culled from malaria dreams, or a weeklong bender, or both. Now, imagine Iggy Pop doing this music and you have an idea of what Hopeless Jack is all about. Garage blues, with tattoos and earrings.

Past Event

Hopeless Jack & the Handsome Devil

  • Wednesday, April 15, 2015, 8 p.m.
  • Brick by Brick, 1130 Buenos Avenue, San Diego
  • $8

Slide guitarist/singer Jack Beisel and drummer Peter Thomas met up about five years ago when they were both pulling shifts in a Portland bar; prior, Beisel had been a solo act. Jam sessions convinced the two to make a band. They perfected the sound in area clubs like Dante’s and Tiger Bar, then hit the road in a hard way. A head-on collision (the only casualty was their tour van) stalled progress for a while, but now Hopeless Jack & the Handsome Devil are back on the road with at least five different tours planned throughout the U.S. for 2015. Punk blues? Not really. It’s about the ethos of musicians who came of age during the post-punk era. And there’s no taking the Caucasian out of this act, but still...

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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