Hot Buttered Rum
Hot Buttered Rum, a souped-up, left-coast string band, is the brainchild of five uniquely gifted musicians who weave their love of bluegrass, folk, jazz and soul into a riveting strain of Americana. String bass and five-alarm fiddle merge with guitar, banjo, mandolin and drums to frame the voices of its two contrasting writers, fueling a dance party with roots in Appalachia and its branches in California. It’s a sound that’s as tough to describe as it is easy to love. Nearly twenty years into its journey, HBR’s music, dreamed up in the backcountry of the High Sierra and the basements of San Francisco, has found its way into the hearts, minds and bodies of fans nationwide. The band continues to tour year-round in support of its many albums and social causes.
“Few things rejuvenate the soul like a warm fireside drink after an exhausting day in the snow. Hot Buttered Rum has that effect. Their original songs are instantly familiar and inviting.”
––San Francisco Chronicle
“As the band’s evolved, it has kept those [bluegrass] roots, but also incorporated the progressiveness of bands like Strength in Numbers and New Grass Revival, the looseness of a jam band like Phish, and the rock-and-roll edge of an acoustic band that opts to ad a drummer.”
“Stunning instrumental and vocal virtuosity.”
“It’s that working man regimen that ensures their consistency from one offering to another. That’s the kind of quality that makes Hot Buttered Rum always seem to go down so smoothly.”
– Bluegrass Today
Years of touring have given the band the chance to work and play with a wide cross-section of musicians, people like Peter Rowan, Phil Lesh, Chris Thile, Brett Dennen, and Robert Earl Keen. Seasoned veteran Steve Berlin (Los Lobos), acoustic guru Mike Marshall, and left-coast rocker Tim Bluhm (Mother Hips, Nicki Bluhm) have all produced studio albums for the band. Each guided HBR towards the next step in its evolution. It's a sound that is tough to describe and easy to love, and it has found its way to the most prestigious pop, folk, and bluegrass stages in the country: Telluride, Newport, Bonnaroo, Strawberry, Hardly Strictly, Kate Wolf, Horning's Hideout, String Summit, Grey Fox, Merlefest, All Good, High Sierra, Wakarusa, and many more.
The next step in Butters evolution involves recording three 5-song EPs, each focusing on a part of music that Hot Buttered Rum loves and is inspired by, and each with a different producer. The first EP was recently recorded with Railroad Earths Tim Carbone and will be released this fall. The second will be a collection of Ralph Stanley old school bluegrass standards, to be recorded in September with producer Sally Van Meter. The third will be Hot Buttered Rums latenight throwdown music, to be recorded in November with SCI's Kyle Hollingsworth. Together, the three collections of songs will explore Butters roots and express Butters present passions.
At the center of Hot Buttered Rum is the enduring camaraderie of old friends. The band was conceived on a backpacking trip of high school and college buddies in the High Sierra. What was dreamed up on mountaintops and around campfires has found its way into the hearts, minds, and bodies of thousands.