Like the perfect summer mixed drink, Limbs Akimbo is a delicious concoction with all the right flavors: a solid base of rock-and-roll-meets-bluegrass with a splash of blues, a twist of country two-step, and a subtle dash of Latin. And, while they're San Francisco-based, Hot Buttered Rum seems made for the ready-to-boogie Missoula crowd, with bouncy, irresistible rhythms and lyrics full of references to Hank Williams, mountain columbine, winter coats, "summertime gals" and "sexy bakery girls."
Rooted in acoustic folk-rock, HBR's managed to retain the fiddle-mandolin-banjo ethos while making a seamless transition to the plugged-in sound. Smooth vocal harmonies are bolstered by strong instrumental musicianship, but, while raw talent is necessary for any band, HBR boasts an equally important trait: They're having a blast. Simply put, this is fun music, and the band sounds like it's having a great time. Upbeat, danceable songs like "Beneath the Blossoms" and the title track set the tone for the album, complemented by a soused, confessional sing-along perfect for a barroom cowboy-boot shuffle titled "Honkytonk Tequila."
So, while hot buttered rum is usually considered a winter drink, Hot Buttered Rum is the ideal late-summer refreshment. Heed the band's lyrics: "You gotta have a drink with me."
Hot Buttered Rum plays the River City Roots Festival Sunday, Aug. 30, at 5 PM. Free.