Thank you Little Village Mag for the unsolicited review of IC Homebrewed’s album “Devil in my Soul”. We appreciate the kind words, both about our music and our efforts to provide “Music with a Mission” for the community. Little Village is a great resource to the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area, filling a niche by covering news and current events in their unique and important way.
"If you are planning a fundraiser in the CRANDIC area and are thinking about just putting on a Spotify playlist and calling it a day, please don’t. Ask HomeBrewed to play instead.
HomeBrewed describes themselves as a “fun filled, mixed generational group, playing bluesy rock and roll and rockabilly.” The band performs primarily at benefit shows for nonprofits around the area. Recent benefactors include CommUnity Food Bank, Penfield Children’s Center and Shelter House. Back in December, HomeBrewed’s debut album release party at Wildwood Saloon raised over $3,500 to support Elizabeth Tate High School families during the costly holiday weeks, according to the band’s blog.
That album was Devil In My Soul (https://youtu.be/dTV6NQ4wZTI) , an ambitious first record consisting of four original tunes and three covers. Recorded by the incomparable Luke Tweedy out at Flat Black Studios, the album is an eclectic assortment of horn-and-harmonica-driven rock and electric blues tunes. As far as audition tapes go, this is an impressive sampling of what the band brings to their live performances.
The band’s bio says that by day, most of the members either work repairing instruments at local music stores or in the dental field. But make no mistake: Devil In My Soul is an exciting record by serious musicians unafraid of taking chances.
Opening with the title track, backed by ominous boogie piano lines and several searching saxophone parts, lead vocalist and harmonica player Pete Damiano sets the tone early. “Spirit of Hope” is a rockabilly tribute penned to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that finishes off with a ripping guitar solo, while “Loss in My Life” features a full-out jazz clarinet breakdown with a distinct Dixieland-bent.
Along with original tunes, the band proves it is equally adept at taking on more modern fare by covering “No Good” from Icelandic blues rockers Kaleo. They swing for the fences here, pouring several straight-gas guitar solos into the mix. As fearless as this one is, the band continues the streak by taking on two tunes from a pair of iconic and unique vocalists: Roy Orbison and Nathaniel Rateliff. “Pretty Woman” stays as true to Orbison’s as it can. It also gets as damn close to Billy Sanford’s original guitar tone as humanly possible. And with the horn section that HomeBrewed has assembled, it feels inevitable that they might try a Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats number. HomeBrewed get’s the jubilant horns and driving drum beat of “I Need Never Get Old” right.
It’s as simple as this: the band is making good music in support of good causes in the area. So check out HomeBrewed if you see them in a lineup somewhere this summer. And in the meantime, be sure and check out Devil In My Soul. (https://youtu.be/dTV6NQ4wZTI)"
This article was originally published in Little Village’s May 2023 issues.