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Høye, Håkon: Nights At The Surf Motel

There is something about the blues I have always connected with, something intangible that is hard to put down on paper. As such, it is always a pleasure listening to a newly discovered player, especially when they are of such high quality as Norwegian musician/singer/songwriter Håkon Høye and his new disc titled Nights At The Surf Motel.

Høye’s lead vocals and guitar sound marvelous together, weaving sublime melodies through these ten bluesy and Americana roots rock tunes. The album opening “Junkyard Of Dreams” is anything but junk with its catchy combination of tasty guitar work and soulful lead vocals. The slower “Stay Awhile” is a rootsy slice of Americana/country, not the so called modern country crap, but more old school and much more real. The female vocals (presumably by Kim E. Bergseth) added to the chorus are a nice touch. The low blowing baritone saxophone and cleanly crisp guitar breaks in “One Floor Down” and the slower blues burn of “Good Thing” are more choice cuts. “You Must Believe Me” is pure Americana roots rock while “Sweet Sugar You” just might be the bluesiest thing here and to my ears it’s a sure fire winner.

Nights At The Surf Motel should be an excellent listen for any self-respecting blues fan. At least, that’s my take. Recommended.

Track Listing:
1. Junkyard Of Dreams (2:40)
2. Stay Awhile (3:14)
3. One Floor Down (3:10)
4. Good Thing (5:04)
5. You Must Believe Me (3:52)
6. Sweet Sugar You (3:03)
7. My Darkest Hour (4:21)
8. Time Will Tell (5:42)
9. Wastin’ Time With You (3:10)
10. Nights At The Surf Motel (5:36)

Added: July 25th 2020
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's OIfficial Site
Hits: 392
Language: english

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Høye, Håkon: Nights At The Surf Motel
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2020-07-25 16:43:18
My Score:

I must admit that Nights At The Surf Motel was most definitely a case of not judging an album by its title. Yes, I was expecting the Dick Dale treatment to come a surfin’ from this CD as Norway’s Häkon Høye rode the shining blue waves onto the sands. However, the only part of that expectation that was evenly vaguely met was the anticipations of something blue, or should I say blues. For this guitarist and band - and all number of guest musicians - are much more likely to be found in the bar than they are on beach as they play a style of blues that’s relaxed, assured and contained.

Whether it’s Kasper Skullerud Værnes throwing down a deep baritone sax line in “One Floor Down”, or the whole gaggle of good time gangsters getting together on the dashed hopes of “Junkyard Of Dreams, if there’s one thing that’s clear on this album it’s that Høye and the boys are doing this because they love it. “Good Thing” lives on the ghost notes and full on snare thwacks from Vetle Larson and his bass buddy Per Tobro, with the pair carefully cavorting in a way that allows an almost doo-wop vocal to send its syrupy message. And that’s the theme here…. don’t rush us…. good things come to those who………. chill.

And chill we will as “Time Will Tell” resolutely refuses to get off its knees and stop crawling at an authentically snail’s pace. However, its stable mate “Wastin’ Time With You” rewards the patience as it hits a mid paced shuffle into the stratosphere, this otherwise meandering song suddenly feeling like an almost out of control romp as a clipped main riff allows the lead guitar work to become an incendiary firework!

Mood, tone, tradition and wearing your heart on your sleeve are all things you’ll encounter on your Nights At The Surf Motel. And while you might not at first suspect the outcome, before you know it you’ll find yourself making a repeat reservation. On the flip side, the aroma this Surf leaves might be a little too heady to become a nightly experience, but it is still something not to be sniffed at.

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