Oakland-based doom collective HIGH TONE SON OF A BITCH (HTSOB) present a gripping new video taken from their ‘Live at The Hallowed Halls’ album on Ripple Music, with the epic new single “John the Baptist” featuring Andrea Vidal on guest vocals!
When considering the idea of having guests join the band for a special live in the studio video performance in late 2020, Andrea Vidal of Holy Grove‘s name was one of the first to come up. “Billy had told me that Andrea wasn’t actively rehearsing or playing at that point. I remember telling him I thought that was tragic. I regard Andrea as one of the most authentic and soulful vocalists in rock music today.” says guitarist Paul Kott.
Andrea Vidal has roots with High Tone Son of a Bitch (HTSOB), with bass player Billy Anderson having worked with her and her band Holy Grove as producer and engineer. Holy Grove and HTSOB also played tour dates together in 2019. Re-imagining the HTSOB song “John the Baptist” with Andrea and Russ performing a duet and Bryce Shelton (Nik Turner’s Hawkwind, Acid King, etc.) adding smoky B3 organ to the vibe was something the whole band were immediately into as a concept.
When asked, Andrea Vidal immediately signed on to the idea: “When Paul asked me to sing with them I hadn’t stepped up a mic since live shows were nuked due to Covid and I was ready to kick the dust off. The collaboration with HTSOB felt natural. I’m honored to be a part of this special version of John The Baptist, to sing alongside Russ and to be allowed to interpret the song in my own way. During the performance I imagined [Paul’s departed brother] Andrew in the room with us, and when I listen back to what was recorded, it’s clear to me that he was.“
‘Live at the Hallowed Halls’ is a thrilling live-in-the-studio, instant classic created under crazy circumstances and featuring standout performances from some of the brightest lights in today’s heavy music. HTSOB core members are Paul Kott (Kalas), Billy Anderson (Melvins), Russ Kent (Noothgrush, Alaric) and Eric Rancourt (Eastern Spell), plus Bryce Shelton (Nik Turner’s Hawkwind, Acid King) on keys and Jake Navarra (Phantom Hound) on lead guitar. The album features guest appearances from Matt Pike (Sleep, High on Fire), Rob Wrong (Witch Mountain, The Skull) and Andrea Vidal (Holy Grove). Watch the “Monuments To Ruin” video with Matt Pike!
Originally formed by brothers Paul and Andrew Kott from the ashes of Oakland prog/doom sludge masters Cruevo, and both preceding and coinciding with Paul’s work in Bay Area metal “supergroup” Kalas, High Tone Son of a Bitch (HTSOB) is a “supergroup” unto itself. Since its founding, HTSOB has pulled together members and collaborators from bands like Noothgrush, Kalas, Hammers of Misfortune, Men of Porn, Melvins, Hawkwind, Acid King, Neurosis, High on Fire, Sleep, Necrot, The Skull, Holy Grove, Phantom Hound, Worshipper and more. When Andrew Kott died unexpectedly in a tragic fall in 2007, HTSOB disbanded, seemingly for good. Paul Kott revived the band at the urging of his Latin Grammy-winning nephew Juan Herrera (Andrew’s step-son) in 2019. Paul has been joined by a core group that includes original member Russ Kent (Noothgrush, Alaric) on vocals and original producer Billy Anderson (Melvins, Men of Porn) on bass.
Many friends and collaborators have joined this core group to allow Paul’s brother’s inspiration to live on, including Dave Edwardson (Neurosis), Sunny Reinhardt (Saviours, Necrot), Matt Pike (Sleep, High on Fire), Bryce Shelton (Nik Turner’s Hawkwind, Acid King), Rob Wrong (The Skull, Witch Mountain), John Brookhouse (Worshipper), and more. The psychedelic hard rock and post-doom vision of HTSOB has kept moving forward while remaining uncompromisingly true to the musical roots the brothers established years ago. Critically heralded as a band that “sits atop the pinnacle of not just psychedelic music, but of musicianship across every spectrum” (Metal Observer), High Tone Son of a Bitch transcends not only genre archetype but death itself, to weave an essential portrait of the dualistic nature of our lives.
About ‘Live At The Hallowed Halls’:
HTSOB released a double album retrospective of 4 EPs in 2020, with the release date landing on March 20th, just days after stay-at-home orders were issued across the country and shutdowns began. The label and distributor were in NYC, and on the day the album was “released” the distributor and record stores across the country were shuttered. The band’s extensive tours to support the release all were canceled or postponed. As the year wore on, it became clear that touring wasn’t going to be an option any time soon. Members of HTSOB started talking about doing something different that would blend live performance with psychedelic multi-camera production values and provide an opportunity to showcase the guest collaborations that have become a benchmark of the band’s approach. In November of 2020, HTSOB headed up to Portland, Oregon to film 2 live sets at the legendary recording studio The Hallowed Halls for broadcast as a special exclusive on Gimme Metal TV and as part of the Mutants of the Monster 2 online festival.
As the band was driving up, the Governor of Oregon announced that lockdown measures would go into effect the following week, giving the HTSOB very little time to complete the work before the studio would have to shutter. In addition, the original film crew, feeling uncomfortable about working on an indoor shoot even with masks and on-site rapid testing, quit. In a mad scramble, a replacement film crew led by Barry Ward of Rich Kids on LSD and MDC was hired during the drive. The live performances feature the core HTSOB members Paul Kott (Kalas), Billy Anderson (Melvins, Men of Porn), Russ Kent (Noothgrush, Alaric), and Eric Rancourt (Eastern Spell) along with standout guest appearances, including Bryce Shelton of Nik Turner’s Hawkwind and Acid King once again joining the band on keys, and Jake Navarra of Oakland blues doomers Phantom Hound filling in on the lead guitar throughout. Matt Pike of Sleep, High on Fire and Kalas joins on lead guitar and vocals doing a blistering cover of the Kalas song “Monuments to Ruins”, Rob Wrong of Witch Mountain and The Skull shreds a raging feedback-drenched duel lead with Jake Navarra on “Silhouette”, and Andrea Vidal lays down a stunning and emotionally charged vocal performance in a duet with Russ Kent on “John the Baptist”. ‘Live at the Hallowed Halls’is a thrilling live in-the-studio, instant classic created under crazy circumstances and featuring standout performances from some of the brightest lights in heavy music today. Ripple Music has stepped up to make this very special, can’t-miss performance available in an all formats album release.
HTSOB lineup on ‘Live At The Hallowed Halls’:
Russ Kent – Vocals
Paul Kott – Guitars
Jake Navarra – Guitars
Billy Anderson – Bass
Bryce Shelton – Keyboards
Eric Rancourt – Drums
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