Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Alright folks, it's time for another lesson in '70's music and this time around it's about a band that damn near everyone never heard don't beat yourself up if the name Hoodoo Rhythm Devils don't ring a bell right away. I'd probably never heard of 'em either had it not been for Wazoo records of Ann Arbor. Wazoo Records was a used record store and a fantastic place in it's day, thousands and thousands of albums racked alphabetically for 1 to 5 bucks, depending on the shape the vinyl was in. Those folks were doing what the radio stations couldn't, or wouldn't, do, exposing their customer base to all kinds of wonderful musical sounds. To me, walking into that place was like walking into the lost tombs of the Pharoah, with treasures unknown to be found. For years it was a semi-religious rite to make a trip from Kazoo to Ann Arbor, usually in the fall, sometimes springtime too, with 3 or 4 hundred bucks and a half dozen empty boxes. I would literally spend all day there, starting with A and ending with Z before they locked up for the day. I'd read album jackets to recognize names I knew of players or producers or I'd pick up the occasional album that gave off "the vibe" and when that happened it just went in the box, no questions asked.
Anyhow, my first Hoodoo album came from Wazoo and it was the Bar-B-Q of Deville, Their 2nd LP and still my favorite one to this day. Over ensuing trips I'd find another album and just grab it knowing that more than likely it was gonna be worth the 3 dollar price tag. I ended up with 5 of 'em when the trips to Ann Arbor stopped and as luck would have it that seems to be their entire discography. So for this post we're gonna start with their first effort and go chronologically, like I most always do. If you're as anal as me about this stuff then you'll want to start with Rack Jobbers Rule and make your way to All Kidding Aside. If you just want a taste of the best of the band then I'd suggest jumping to Bar-B-Q of Deville and see how that strikes ya........
It's been a struggle to find out much about The Hoodoo Rhythm Devils, but I did learn that they were a staple around the San Francisco Bay area in the '70's. The core of the HRD was Joe Crane, who's gone now, died from leukemia some years ago and Glenn Walters, who started out as a singing drummer. He's still out there and can visit his website here. I was able to find even less on Joe that I could share but it seems his boy is out there rocking the house these days and here's a link to his My Space page.
I guess it bothers me that people disappear so quickly from the radar once they stop producing. Folks like Joe shouldn't be forgotten for what they did while they're alive simply because they're no longer around to blow their own horn. With that said and so little that I'm able to find thru internet sources I guess the best thing to do is let the music do the talking for him. I suspect that's probably what he'd have wanted anyhow.
Rock on.

Do Do Do
Black Widow
Like Fire
Snake Doctor
Four Set Blues
Black Cadillac
Red Pacific
Hurtin' Side Of Love
Green Light
Hoodoo Beat

Joe Crane - Guitars, Vocals, Keyboards
Glenn "Hambone" Walters - Vocals, Percussion
Dexter C. Plates -Bass
John Rewind - Guitar
READ THIS for more information on this album.



Truer Than Me
Too Hot To Handle
All Tore Down
Eating In Kansas City
I Was Wrong
Lotta Fine Mama
Lead Me On
Cry In The Night
Sign Your Life Away
Suite 16

Joe Crane - Guitars, Vocals, Keyboards
Glenn "Hambone" Walters - Vocals, Percussion
Dexter C. Plates - Bass
John Rewind - Guitar
Roger Clark - Drums

READ THIS for more information on this album.


Crazy About The Ladies
My Old Lady
Bullfrog Holler
Milltown Gambler
Louisiana Line
Right On Mary
Mudcat Stew
The Mirror
I Fought The Law And The Law Won

Joe Crane - Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Keyboards
Glenn Walters - Vocals, Drums, Percussion
John Rewind - Guitar
Dexter C. Plates - Bass, Low Vocals
Jerome - Drums
Roger Clark -Drums
Ruben Gosfield -Steel Guitar
John McFee -Steel Guitar
The Pointer Sisters - Background Vocals
Skip Mesquite - Tenor Sax
Sonny Lewis - Tenor Sax
Dave Luell - baritone Sax
Joe Ellis - Trumpet
Mike Heathman - Trombone


READ THIS for more information on this album.


Gypsy Fly
Little Bit Of Love
Get Somebody New
Safe In Their Homes
Tangled Up In Blue
You Can't Fool Me
Teach Your Daughter
Big Time Band

Joe Crane - Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Keyboards
Glenn Walters - Vocals, Drums, Percussion
Bob Flurie - Guitar, Background Vocals
Mac Cridlin - Bass
Scott Mathews - Drums, Background Vocals
Boots Hughston - Alto Sax
Richard Greene - Bass
John Blakeley - Guitars
Ronnie Montrose - Guitar
Link Wray - Guitar
Brian Seff - Background Vocals
The Hawkins Singers - Background Vocals
Steamin' Freeman Lockwood - Accordion
David Burgin - Harp
Ed Bogas - Synthesizer
Trombones - Fritz Heilbron, Chuck Bennet
Trumpets - John Coppola, Bob Yance
Saxophones -Mel Martin, Bob Ferrara

READ THIS for more information on this album.


Working In A Coal Mine
All Night
Teen Tang
Correction In Your Direction
Sweet City Street
Gotta Lot Of Love In My Soul
Far From Over
I Had A Fight With Love (And I Lost)
Cross Roads

Joe Crane - Vocals
Glenn Walters - Vocals
Clayton Ivey - Keyboards
Larry Byron - Guitar
Bob Wray - Bass
Roger Clark - Drums
Tom Roady - Percussion
Horns - Muscle Shoal Horns
Background Vocals - Barbara Wyrick, Suzy Storm
READ THIS for more information on this album.


Blogger Camarillo Brillo said...

I used to do the same thing at the Record and Tape Exchange in College Park, MD. $100 in my pocket and an afternoon to burn. Problem was thisplace was onlly ten miles from home. So I spent way too much time and money there and other places Like Joes Record Paradise...
This blog completely rocks and I visit often. Thanks for all you do!

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 11:18:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for offering up these lps. The "Rack Jobbers Blues" album has eluded my for years so I'm thrilled to finally get to hear it.

These days Joe Crane is probably best known for writing Rodger Collins' "Foxy Girls in Oakland" which appears opn numerous soul & funk collections.

Friday, June 27, 2008 at 11:58:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are a couple of non-lp/b-side cuts floating around out there, along with a very early independent label four song EP and a live in the KSAN studios broadcast. Great band!


Friday, August 15, 2008 at 2:22:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don´t know if you´re reading comments on old posts, but anyway ...
I´m from Germany and own a copy of the "Barbeque"-album - don´t ask me how I came upon it.
I dug it out of my collection today and searched the web for some information. What a nice surprise, that your blog offers the chance to listen to some more of that stuff.
Thank you for posting!

Sunday, August 17, 2008 at 4:34:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Tom Eckels said...

To Anonymous August 15th. Any way you can point me in the direction of those items? I'd love to hear the radio broadcast, not to mention the 4 tune EP.

Sunday, August 17, 2008 at 10:04:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Tom Eckels said...

To anonymous August 17th. I read all the comments man, always curious who's coming in the door. Also curious how you came across a Hoodoo's album in Germany. You can email me directly if you don't want the world to know :-)

Thanks for stopping in, glad I could help with your Hoodoo's discography.


Sunday, August 17, 2008 at 11:57:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There´s no secret about the way I got the LP, the thing is - I really can´t remember! I piled up a large stack of vinyl (mostly second hand) in the advent of the CD, often buying without knowing and without the time to listen. This was the best move I ever made, because now I can find new treasures whenever I visit my archive.
Let´s be honest - the feeling of putting an LP on the record player can never be beaten by these faceless, unsexy mp3s :-)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008 at 9:42:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Tom Eckels said...

I fully concur with your feeling about putting an lp on the turntable and then, to go even further, taking the album cover and lyric sheet and sitting in your favorite chair and being able to actually read the lyrics as the album plays.
I've actually went out and bought a magnifying glass so I can read the 1.2 size font that these yahoos use and that's only if it's not some artsy crafsy font style that can't be read no matter the size.....

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 at 11:18:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a find!! Back in 1980 or 1981 abouts, I worked the overnight shift in the PO in Boston. A disc jockey on WBCN used to play "I Fought the Law" by the HRD. I loved that song. Could never find it or anything about the band. There was no internet back then! Thanks so much for keeping them alive.

Saturday, October 4, 2008 at 9:52:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey there, Tom...thanks so much for posting these HRD albums. You're right about it bing difficult to find much on the web about them. And it's practically impossible to locate the original LPs as more and more vinyl record stores go under.

These albums are great, and provide evidence that they're another band that should have made a bigger splash.

Saturday, October 4, 2008 at 11:02:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Tom Eckels said...

To Paul and Anon....welcome to both of you and I'm glad that other Hoodoo fans are finding these albums and having a chance to listen to the whole discography.
I'd fully concur with you that they should've made a bigger splash and I'd love to see some of the Alt. bands out there these days pick up on 'em and do some covers. There's just too many great tunes on this vinyl to just forget about.


Saturday, October 4, 2008 at 11:48:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Martino said...

FYI, the Hoodoo Rhythm Devils were the backing band for the
Pointer Sisters on their "Live At The Opera House" album from around 1973 back when the Pointers were dressing really cool, mostly doing 30's & 40's covers, & on the country charts with "Fairy Tale". The album features a maximally funky "Yes We Can Can". That's what turned me on to the band, & I scored Safe In Their Homes & What The Kids Want at Rather Ripped Records in Berkeley, & they always got good comment when I played them at the Buckaroo in Seattle or on KRAB.

Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 12:53:00 AM EST  
Blogger Martino said...

I've been listening to samples on CDBABY.....can anybody burn these to disc for me?

Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 1:17:00 AM EST  
Blogger Tom Eckels said...

Drop me an email Peter and we'll talk.


Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 2:42:00 AM EST  
Blogger Martino said...

Anybody got the Best of CD they'd be willing to burn for themselves, since burning discs is illegal?

Saturday, November 15, 2008 at 1:05:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

saw the band probably 71 at Greenwich high school open for J Geils, Crane was a wildman on piano, best band I had ever seen live{ except early Geils} what a nite.

Friday, December 5, 2008 at 3:04:00 PM EST  
Blogger Gil Mazzi said...

Gil Mazzi: Third Ear Sound Company.
I co-owned and operated a large sound company in the Bay area from 1975-1981 and worked a lot of shows with many Bay Area acts and the HDRD. They were one of the premier LIVE acts in the Bay Area and stole the show from many headliners as their music was so powerful and their stage presence so strong. I never felt that they were able to put in the can what they could do live. Some shows they were set up for double drummers and Hambone would switch from guitar to the drums and rip off his shirt and do a drum solo with his fingers!! Boots some nights would blow flames out of his sax on some real hot solos. I can still hear "Safecracker" playing in my head. Not only were they great musicians they were a great group of people to be with and their audiences loved them (what a cool name and once you heard them you were a fan). Great sound and good memories from this group.
-Gil Mazzi-

Saturday, February 14, 2009 at 2:15:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

K.LaBois: Just a fan.
I grew up in the Bay Area (in San Leandro)during the 60's and 70's. Use to do the Fillmore,Winterland and local clubs.Great time,great place, awesome music.Nothing like seeing a band in a club setting: Hoodoo Rhythm Devils, Pointer Sisters,Big Brother be-fore and after Janis, John Lee Hooker, BoDiddley, Big Mama Thorton,Jefferson Starship and many many more.The first time I heard the HDRD I was hooked, not to mention what a show. I went out and bought Bar-B- Q of Deville. Needless to say I no longer have most of the albums from that time. But I was extremly excited to find there are other fans of HDRD and that I can still get their music. I must say I was extremly lucky to grow up in that era,time and place.To have been able to experience the experience.No matter what is said about todays music,It will never top that time or sound.

Monday, February 23, 2009 at 4:55:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recorded their live at the bammies session on KSAN. That had to have been 1977-78?
I recently sent it to Glenn and he was kind enough to send me a copy of his King of Retro Cool CD.
Growing up in the Bay Area, I got to see them at Frenchy"s in Hayward and some place in Berkeley that I don't remember the name of.
They always brought the house down. I still listen to their albums and it always brings back great memories.

Friday, May 22, 2009 at 12:50:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Martino said...

I just suffered through a band using the name Hoodoo Rhythm Devils on YouTube. Majorly mediocre. That's the bad news. The good news is I think I heard "I Fought The Law" on a season 2 episode of My Name Is Earl. No listing for that title on the Earl playlist on Wikipedia.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 10:47:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Hoodoo Rhythm Devils are mentioned in the 1976 Thin Lizzy song "Johnny the Fox Meets Jimmy the Weed". Check out the clip of the song on youtube here:

It's an awesome song - one of their best.

Friday, November 13, 2009 at 7:51:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just had to post a comment about this band as one of my favorites from the San Francisco Bay Area, or more accurately, the East Bay, in the late 60's-'70's. Tower of Power, Cold Blood, The Hoodoo's, The Pointer Sisters, as well as free agent heavy hitters such as Ronnie Montrose and Link Wray, for crying out loud. It seemed like the whole place just rocked from side to side, all the time, like a Robert Crumb street scene. From Provo Park in Berkeley to impromptu gigs at the laundromat next to The Blue Cue poolhall on Telegraph ave, somebody would be just rocking the place. Too hot to handle, indeed! And for my money nobody caught the pathos of "Tangled Up In Blue" like those guys.

I know Joe Crane is gone, but he's not forgotten; to him, and Glenn Walters, and the rest of the band members: thanks for the memories.


ps thanks also to Rather Ripped, where I was able to get pristine used copies of Honky Blues and Crazed Hipsters, among others.

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 4:15:00 PM EST  
Blogger Martino said...

Rather Ripped was a GREAT record store. When I'd come down from Seattle, I always flew in Oakland, & before heading to my buddy's place in San Jose, I always hit Rather Ripped, & then a Steam or Porter(or two) at the Cheshire Cat.

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 4:32:00 PM EST  
Blogger Martino said...

Hey, Tom- Looks like it's time to set a Captcha. I was surprised to see 3 entries from your Blog in my Spam folder, until I saw what they were.

Friday, January 1, 2010 at 11:13:00 AM EST  
Blogger RP said...

I totally agree - the Hoodoos are a great band that just never made it big. I wandered into a bar in the late 70's (in Los Altos, CA) and they happened to be the house band that evening. I was floored! I tracked down all 5 lps and I love them all.
I saw perhaps their last live show in 1989 and I recorded it on my Sony D-6 deck. I also have on tape some of their rare recordings (Sea of Love, etc.)
Be sure to go to and search for the Hoodoo Rhythm Devils. They have a GREAT Winterland 75 show for streaming....

Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 9:53:00 PM EDT  

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