Rich Hopkins And Luminarios – My Way Or The Highway

(San Jacinto Records – 2017)

This really is an incredible album that has plenty of Americana all over it from a dude who at this point in his career already had 24 albums to his name in the band The Sidewinders who were later known as The Sand Rubies.

 

Musically it reminds me of a mix of Tom Petty, Drive By Truckers and bits of Mellencamp, Dylan and Jack White since its well-rooted in a country style, very authentic and organic with a straight from the amp feel to it. Rich met Texan born, Lisa Novak, they got married and wrote songs since 2003, created Luminarios and the rest they say is history.

 

Many great songs on here that include the opening part spoken-word, part-sung blues-like 'Angel Of The Cascades'; the Heartbreaker like 'Want You Around' that sees Lisa on lead vocals or the beautiful duet that is 'If You Want To' with incredible wailing and flowing guitar-work

 

Then there's the joyful 'Hell Or High Water (Married Go 'Round) that has a laid back slightly Southern Stonesy feel to it which is where there album title came from – spot the line in there! Or what about The Breeders meets Hole meets The White Stripes like 'I Don't Want To Love You Anymore' with it's late 60's raw Garage psyche running through or the tranquil closing 'Walkaway Again'.

 

A truly excellent release.

10/10

 

By Glenn Milligan