One of Cincinnati's musical treasures, The Hiders, return with another spectacular album, Totem. Despite the winter scene depicted on the cover and the fact that it was recorded last winter in a cabin in Kentucky's Red River Gorge, Totem is an album of incredible warmth, something that should transfer well to the LP's vinyl release. The music is more like the warming fire that draws everyone close in the midst of a deep freeze, thanks both to the songwriting and unfussy production. Frontman/songwriter/singer/guitarist Billy Alletzhauser's songs are brought to life on the album by the excellent current edition of The Hiders, which now features fellow original member Beth Harris on harmony vocals and percussion, keyboardist Kevin Carlisle, bassist Glen May and drummer Brian Moeller. The Hiders' sound is a unique brand of rootsy Rock that's sometimes spacious and ethereal and sometimes relatively straightforward, but almost always transcendent. There is a soulfulness to songs like the creeping "First Real Blues" and the beautiful "Live at the Long Goodbye" that is hard to describe, but that's part of The Hiders' magic. Though all are superbly talented musicians, the album works more due to the feel and emotive qualities than any sort of instrumental virtuosity. There is a vibe that just works and sticks with you like a haunting memory after just one listen. When Harris and Alletzhauser's voices meld together on choruses, for example, they often cause goosebumps. That's something that has nothing to do with the order of the notes or any sort of musical theory. It's just great songwriting with equally great, emotive performances. Totem is a start-to-finish gem (the band will perform the album in order at the release show) that deserves to be experienced as a whole, but certain tracks stand out. "Motherlode" is one of The Hiders' all-time best songs, a slow-building, psychedelic drone with ominous guitar riffs, some inspired soloing, eerie melodies and a spectacular, serpentine chorus that winds it's way into the listener's consciousness. Elsewhere, "Loaded as a Gun" is a wonderful slice of Hider-ized classic Country; closing track "For the Sun" is a gauzy ballad laced with guest Sylvia Mitchell's elegant strings; and "She Brings the Fall" is a hazy, dreamlike beauty that adds Middle Eastern-like percussion and melodica to the band's traditional instrumentation.
Each record is protected within its record sleeve by a white vellum anti-dust sleeve.
All items are shipped brand-new and unopened in original packaging. Every record is shipped in original factory-applied shrink wrap and has never been touched by human hands.