The problem with the acrobatics is that they may distract a fan from the deeper reality that DeMink is a superb and crowd-pleasing guitar player.
"Star Spangled Banner"
...by Jerry "Hot Rod" De Mink
Something to see, when the dude pulls off a headstand using his big fat red Gibson as a counterbalance, and not missing a beat while grinding out a note-for-note textbook-perfect guitar solo. The deep back-bends, the death-jumps (as a rock reviewer once put it) into crowds — well, it’s all a very physical gig that Jerry “Hot Rod” DeMink has going with his three-piece, something along the lines of a Guitar Shorty back in that entertainer’s prime, when a guitar player had to be part acrobat as well as a killer musician. DeMink’s got all that old blues-guitar history working for him, and then some.
DeMink’s combustive stage energy helps keep what little remains of the local rockabilly scene active. The band draws that crowd, but the thing of it is far deeper than just retro styles, tats, and flamed hot rods. DeMink and the band play jump blues, old Bakersfield rock and roll, Christian rock (he once told the Reader that he’d experienced a religious conversion), ’60s surf rock, and cool old blues ramblers with astonishing range. And, limitless vitality.
- Thursday, July 7, 2016, 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
House of Blues,
1055 Fifth Avenue,
DeMink’s been playing clubs around here for many years. His current three-piece has been together for better than a decade now: DeMink handles vocals and guitar, with Danny Wasson on drums and bassist Andy Baugh. No — those two don’t turn somersaults. They are rooted to the stage. But the problem with the acrobatics is that they may distract a fan from the deeper reality that DeMink is a superb and crowd-pleasing guitar player. He can shift spontaneously from country rave-ups to fancy jazz chords and school-of-rock power chords. How he manages, I haven’t a clue, but whenever I witness the spectacle that is his act, I come away thinking that there’s got to be an easier way to pay the rent.