Bonnie Bramlett

"[Halley's] got the biggest pipes I've heard on a babe in a long time"

PBS106.7, Melbourne, Australia

...The moment you press play with this album you are rocked back into your seat. Wow, the power and passion of this outfit is undeniable. The groove is set with "Muscle Memory" with its infectious in-your-face groove...Whether it is Blues or Funk or Soul or Rhythm & Blues it is done incredibly well. I now have a candidate for album of the year...There are few singers who can deliver the strength, pathos and credibility as Halley DeVestern can.

This is an absolutely stunning album that weaves a wonderful insightful view of the world around us. The singing, playing, arranging and of course the outstanding songs make for this to be an absolute must have album for 2014. (UK)

...with Halley on lead vocals and musicians Tom Heinig; bass, David Patterson; guitar and Rich Kulsar; drums...together they have become a very tight and formidable musical combo. The band is based in the tough and muscular [New York City] area and their music displays a very similar attitude, force and feeling. The most striking aspect of the eight original tunes here for your gratification is Halley’s formidable vocal talent; which contains a delectable and enticingly fruity huskiness which has in turn, inflections of Tina Turner, Maggie Bell, and of course Janis Joplin; Halley herself cites Janis as her biggest influence for as a child she often heard her sister playing the records of Janis; of course, you the listener will ultimately decide.

An undeniable fact is the strikingly muscular musical engine room of the band which is a wonderful combination of blues, funk, rock and Jazz; not just individually influenced or inflected numbers but, throughout all of the numbers there is an atmosphere of a tightly woven, pulsating, urban tapestry; floating harpsichord sounding guitars and keyboards that are underpinned with briskly impressive martial drum work, while brassy, billowy, puncturing horns fill the air. The grinding slowburning “Money Ain’t Time” has a loping ringing guitar which is urged on by a slow driven organ sneaking in where Halley’s powerfully dominating vocals allow.  The dizzying Stevie Wonder influenced stomping seventies urban bass and drum funker  “Tore Up (From the Floor up)”, recalls tales of the heady times of being on the road and of the (before and after) effects of alcohol and other interesting activities and substances. “Boil”. Is a building and rising hard rocking tirade against the insidious casual nature of racists? “The Jesus I Know”, is a spirited organ and piano, surging gospel with Halley providing a burning vocal that decries and despises the blatant hypocrisy of some people who abuse and misuse religion today.
Highly Recommended!

Midwest Record
...Ready for a balls to the wall white blues belting mama that has sung with Big Brother & the Holding Company and has the admiration of Bonnie Bramlett? This fearless, two fisted broad grabs the spotlight, owns it, growls one minute, purrs the next and carries on like there’s no tomorrow. A wild ride throughout, mama loves her job and isn’t afraid to let it show. Hot stuff.

Volume 38/Number 58
December 28, 2013
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2013 Midwest Record

Bman's Blues Report
The Halley Devestern Band...have their own power sound. Opening with horn infused funky pop track, Muscle Memory, the band sets a dance grove and Halley immediately shows influences of Joplin. Kangaroo Momma has a real nice strut to it with solid lead vocals and cool backing vocals. The band is made up of a who's who, Halley (vocal) of Big Brother; David Patterson (guitar) of Shawn Mullins; Rick Kulsar (drums) of The Zen Tricksters, Toasters and Mickey Dolenz; and Tom Heinig (bass) of Lamont Cranston and Mill City. Blues track Money Ain't Time is a direct hit from Big Brother's song back with Edd Kelhoff on organ (very nice Edd) and Halley demonstrating a strong sense of Joplin's phrasing and feel. Tore Up (From The Floor Up) is a cool composition which really sounds like it's from the Frank Zappa song book. Mark Mancini plays some cool funky keys on this track adding a lot to the general feel of the track. Ethereal, Boil, is possibly my favorite track on the release with a solid drum beat by Kulsar and moving bass line from Heinig. Overall a very creative track. American Pain is another really strong track opening with simple gospel style piano riffs from Mancini and easy vocal work from DeVestern. Developing into a fully "orchestrated" track, it keeps it clean and simple. Very very nice. Code 9 have a strong R&B/funk strut and Halley is belting and the CNP Horns [Thomas Hutchings (sax), Indofunk Satish (Trumpet and Flugelhorn), and Matt MacDonald (trombone)] are adding some really smokin' backing. Mancini and Patterson both get a chance to play nice solos on this track as well. The Jesus I Know is sown deep in gospel styling with smooth organ and piano work from Mancini. Definite Joplin vocal phrasing is evident and nicely presented by DeVestern. A powerful track showing shades of Bonnie Bramlett and Macy Gray as well is a cool track and a nice wrap to the release. (Croatia)

(translated from Croatian by Google Translate):

Although this album Fabb! Boffo! Smash! Published five days ago, or more accurately 7th January this does not preclude its exclusivity. In fact, I'm not convinced that you've noticed Halley DeVestren Band, who are catering posted this his first album. Somehow Betsie Brown decided in the new of 2014. year to go, as they say, at first! Her house promotional Blind Raccoon, stationed in Memphis, started with a wider audience of relatively under-known names. But that is not the reason that they do not devote enough attention and that they can not play. Another name in the series is just Halley DeVestren Band.

As always I like to go to listen to the album, where too many do not know the artist, when little to no surprise as people, musicians are working. Although in this band in the first Plame singer Halley DeVestren, which will surprise you with her vocal abilities, and astonished many connoisseurs of this musical style. What kind of music style works here? Personally, this is classified as exposed rock n 'blues albums whose tracks the primary impact of rock and only then tries to trace the blues.

Actually this is a very effective combination in which the band members: Tom Heinig - bass, David Patterson - guitar and Rick Kulsar - drums, brings a truly inspiring and representative and respectable musical background. And on their impressive musical matrix agrees vocals of this great singer, which in its primeval sound draws on Janis Joplin, but Halley was able to escape identification with the legendary Janis and go in completely and his highly original interpretation. In addition, there is certainly still worth mentioning that Halley performed with Big Brother & the Holding Company and the rest of her! Indeed, a great success!

As this first album, which I introduced in EXCLUSIVE Blues Corner (remember the band Hard Garden and their album Blue Yonder AN), which has caused a real 'boom' in today's blues scene. The thing would be repeated and with this album, which with its eight songs offers excellent low right tracks ... there is no 100% pure blues, but his presence, coloration and presvučenost of each song there ... and brings you some new musical horizons , horizons, which simply suggest that musical expression has absolutely no boundaries. Just because all the soul, funky, R & B, and rock, gospel furka will refresh itself to you, so more and more powerful your inner being.

As the special moments of the first albums I want to emphasize: Muscle Memory, and then the Australian music impliciranošću in another song Kangaroo Momma, where striking the funkirani rhythm and the various rhythmic interplay of guitars and rhythm section that builds tremendous vocal impressive Halley. Below bluesyirana Money Is not This is my favorite, it's not that ... no hell, great keyboards, yet subtle guitar with a unique vocal performance maketh all around. Listening to this song several times, around you creates a bluish curtain that simply are not able to escape, and that's what impresses me terribly. Truly awesome!

Unusual Tore Up (From The Floor Up) in the manner of Sly and the Family Stone, the legs will surely rise and then the direction of the dance floor! Boil in the same strange atmosphere, but this time, as the vrže some strange, even a little psychedelic overtones and the whole story, what else to write except amazing! Lightweight American Pain its title and the text says it all. I wonder from where such a text template. Some things could be mapped in this our reality, but of course in a metaphorical sense. Better to move on, anything I could write here, but I would have to make any sense. Code 9 is a song that carries a distinct serenity, powerful rhythm, vocals, but I had not heard of this scope and effect. Is it important to highlight text? Yes, certainly ... because in this song carries a very strong message. Last song on the album is a gospel colored The Jesus I Know and again and again pfffuuuu ..... wow! I am particularly very happy when I hear that someone so fair in wearing something dark, deep, emotional and highly effective. I listened to the song many times in a row and every time I moved again ... you just talking about its expressiveness and power. Really impressive!

Someone told me that you are willing to explore, you're open to new forms of presentation, the new names in the music world. If all this is true then you are truly in the right place because Halley DeVestren band their album Fabb! Boffo! Smash! provides, delivers and teaches you just that! Check REQUIRED!

Halley DeVestern is often compared to Janis Joplin and she did spend some time touring with Big Brother & The Holding Company singing Janis’ songs. But DeVestern is more than just a Janis clone. When she names her influences it it no surprise to find singers Aretha Frankin, James Brown, Al Green or ’70’s soul acts The Ojays, Ohio Players, and Earth Wind and Fire. Halley has slowly but surely been making her own mark in the greater New York City area and is now poised to break out nationally.

The band features seasoned professionals from a full range of musical styles. All the songs were written with bassist Tom Heinig who has played with Lamont Cranston band and Mill City Band. Guitarist David Patterson played with Shawn Mullins, and drummer Rich Kulsar spent time in Zen Tricksters, The Toasters and Mickey Dolenz band. Their experiences are eclectic to say the least and it makes their music an exotic gumbo.

The opening track “Muscle Memory” sets the tone of Fabbo! Boffo! Smasho! with a funky workout. DeVestern sounds a bit like Joplin but without the rasp. Her voice is more refined and doesn’t crack as she hits the higher notes, and the band is slick and tight....

...“Money Ain’t Time” features simmering organ and impassioned vocals. DeVestern takes on rich fat cats, encouraging them to think about all the time they’ll be dead and what little good their money will do them in the afterlife. It could equally be about sacrificing time in your life for money; time that would be better spent making human connections and sharing yourself with others instead of chasing the payday at all costs. This song has been featured in the TV Show Dance Moms. 

“American Pain” is a gospel tinged ballad that lyrically takes on economic inequality in the United States but also takes aim at those with the casino mentality, hoping to strike it rich by gambling. “Code 9” ... is musically solid with extra funk added by the CNP Horns – Thomas Hutchings on sax, Indofunk Satish on Trumpet and Flugelhorn, and Matt MacDonald on trombone.  Bassist Heinig creates a fat groove, guest keyboardist Mark Mancini stands out on electric piano and guitarist David Patterson cuts loose with stinging guitar lines.

The clearest message of any song on Fabbo! Boffo! Smasho! is found in “The Jesus I Know.” Halley admirably takes to task those who have twisted the story of Jesus to fit their own needs. The tune is an upbeat R&B Gospel tune, with big backing vocals and organ fills.  The Jesus she knows had a dark complexion, cared about healing, fed the hungry, helped the blind to see, promised the world to the meek, and got lynched for telling the truth. Amen, Halley. Amen.

Yes, Halley DeVestern has a powerful voice. She has sung with Big Brother And The Holding Company, drawn comparisons to Janis Joplin, and garnered compliments from Bonnie Bramlett. Her lyrics may not always make perfect sense but they sound good and she sings with conviction....If you want some upbeat, funky grooves played on real instruments by talented human beings give Fabbo! Boffo! Smasho!  a listen.

MTV Online

"HALLEY DEVESTERN deserves to be judged on her own merit. Forget the comparisons and similarities to some of music's most influential women; Halley might one day join them, but it will certainly be on her own terms. Currently plugging away at countless gigs throughout New York City, [The work of THE HALLEY DEVESTERN BAND] contains songs of hate, revenge, and the dark side of humanity that are certainly not coated with sugar like so many of today's chart toppers..." HALLEY DEVESTERN is aware of the hardships that still await her as she plugs away on the local music scene. "I will keep being true to the stuff that pops into my head, even if it is lots of ugly thoughts," she says, as if to prove she will not compromise herself or her music. "My songs talk about revenge and the darker side of humanity," she admits before confessing, "I try and try, but can't seem to write a love song. Forget about the love songs, Halley. Keep patiently singing the way you do now, and major success is inevitable."

"Instead of railing at the world in a high, thin keen, this lady lets loose with a big, bluesy roar. The formula might not be new... but the rootsy attack is arresting." (review of "Live At The Towpath Inn")

"It's a wonderful artistic statement... As Janis Joplin's famous "typewriter tapes" with Jorma Kaukonen are legend and added depth to the first Janis Joplin box, this ten-song CD will be a treasure after Halley DeVestern achieves the level of success that her talent deserves."

Sam Andrew, composer, guitarist, co-founder of Big Brother and the Holding Company
"I've never seen anything like it..."
Independent Songwriter

"Raw and passionate and totally mesmerizing... Yes, Halley sings a mean note, but she's more than that, and her ability to articulate such complex and dark emotions while still keeping the songs accessible is nothing short of remarkable."

How does a nice Rockville Centre girl like Halley DeVestern make us believe that she's got the brains, teeth and smell of an animal? That she's got a "bloody screaming jones" and "digs a moonlit howl?" First off, it's her voice. Weaned on the Janis Joplin records of her older siblings, DeVestern's got pipes that aren't quite as seasoned as her inspiration, but they do show a sinewy mettle akin to Joan Osborne's or Maria McKee's. And on her self-released debut album, "Sugar Free," her incisive songs about emotions run amok ("I'll Light Myself On Fire"), bogus relationships ("Tied") and dysfunctional relations ("The Family Way") show that she's learned from masters such as Patti Smith and John Hiatt how to turn a phrase. DeVestern says her arresting vision is just the result of "having these demons inside me which are demanding to get out and make some noise." In that case, when she takes the stage at this Saturday's WBAB Blues and Brews Festival, the Brookhaven Amphitheater will be in need of an exorcism. If you can't catch that show, she'll be opening for Joan Jett at the Bridgeview Yacht Club in Island Park on July 12. Though she still spends time at her parents' Rockville Centre home, DeVestern lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. For the moment, she's pulled back on her acting career (perhaps you recognized her as an Alex Kelly rape victim on "America's Most Wanted"?) to get her ya-yas out behind the mic. Word is quickly spreading about her prowess, and in addition to increasing radio airplay, she's just nabbed a nomination as best national act in the Los Angeles Music Awards. A previous day job at a music publishing company motivated her to get serious about songwriting. When she saw people making money with lame songs, she figured she could do better. And she was tired of reciting other people's words on stage and screen. "When you just talk and rant, people think you're crazy, but when you sing about weird stuff, people go 'Wow,'" DeVestern says of her emotionally raw songwriting approach. "If it sounds angry to go to the extremes of thought, then that's what I do. I just go to the extremes of emotions and feeling."
The Village Voice (Long Island edition)
Halley DeVestern is the type of rocker whose hybrid style invites many comparisons. Constantly linked to artists such as Janis Joplin and Natalie Merchant, she, unlike many other artists, does appreciate the connections critics and listeners make. "What you hear from the outside," she says, "is more real than what you hear yourself." We met last week in a small record shop in her hometown of Rockville Centre to discuss her work and explore her influences, rack by rack. As we walk from section to section, DeVestern gives me a hands-on tour. With Janis looking down at her from the new Live at Winterland promotional poster, DeVestern begins talking about her greatest influence. "I grew up listening to Janis. My older sister played her all the time," she says. "Women just didn't have that kind of power at all. She had an incredible instrument. It was beyond raspy. She almost harmonized with herself." Eventually we end up standing in front of a poster of her album, Sugar Free, a bluesy shout out of visceral rock tunes that drips with desire, rage and power. Unlike the manufactured fervor of Alanis Morrisette or the rootsy passion of Joan Osborne, DeVestern's classic sound spawns from a different kind of drive - one that takes no prisoners. It Natalie Merchant lost her pretension and got soused on Southern Comfort instead of herbal tea, she might be DeVestern. "Success still seems like such a faraway thing for me," she says. "I feel grateful that people are playing my CD and enjoying my music. I try to be real in my music." She points to Neil Young's Year of the Horse. "It's that rough sound I was trying to achieve on the CD. In the studio, I kept saying, 'Make me sound like Neil Young. Raw, pure rootsy, soulful, organic.'" For further inspiration, the gutsy redhead in the black lace jacket looks up at a nearby CD from another no-nonsense Rockville Centre grrrl and says, "You know, Joan Jett." So ballsy that Jett's management pulled DeVestern off a potentially show-stealing opening spot on a Bridgeview Yacht Club gig this weekend. TURN THE BEAT AROUND It turns out DeVestern had a bunch of other instructions she delivered in the studio while recording Sugar Free, like, "Make it sound like the O'Jays." As we start with the R&B/Funk/Disco section, Halley laughs as she comes across a disco compilation. "At the time, I thought disco sucked," she says, "but now I appreciate a lot about it. I love the early disco bass lines and solid drumming grooves. The players were really playing. I appreciate the musicianship. Funk and R&B performers like Earth Wind and Fire, the Ohio Players, Aretha, Otis...they're fantastic." In the country aisle, she pulls out a George Jones album. "He's lived the life," she says. "You can hear it in his voice. It hits you right in the heart." DeVestern's lived the life as well, if her music is any indication. The lyrics spew anger and determination. There are no love songs; maybe some lust songs. The album is literally about flesh and bone, and what's in between. Still, DeVestern always seems on guard. She says she doesn't listen to music as much as she'd like, but she's well-informed, almost scholarly in some of her reflections. But, as with her music, it comes down to the gut. As we pass through the blues section, she says, while almost caressing the classic CDs, "Now this is the real thing. It's so honest. There's no bullshit. No pretense. These guys got their guitars from the five-and-dime, and worked it to death. Bessie Smith, Robert Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt. Nothing sappy here at all." Which brings us to the Lilith album displayed on the wall in front of us. DeVestern auditioned for the second stage of the Lilith Tour, but didn't make it. "I'll play anywhere, and I would have loved to have gotten that gig," the singer explains. "But It's not really my style." TAKE THE A TRAIN DeVestern, whose own music ("Bring me the man who put me down, bring him close to my side, bring me the man who put me down...tied") is full of strum und drang, reveals, "I love the idea of opera. I respect opera singers. They get to the complete heights of emotion, vocally and dramatically. I strive for that ultimate emotion. I craft my lyrics to make sure they're active, and that they're going to the nth degree." As we hit the section filled with movie scores and original Broadway cast albums, DeVestern tells me about her BFA in acting from Boston University. "It helped me learn how to perform with a band," she explains, adding that she's been "singing seriously" for the past five years, and only been writing her own material for two. She swoons over Cabaret. "Composers like Kander and Ebb do the unexpected," she says. "They juxtapose a happy melody with frightening lyrics. Sondheim does that as well." I remind her that it sounds a bit like her own style. "It's something I like to do," she admits. "I hope I don't do it too much." Although DeVestern has been influenced by many of the artists in the cramped record shop, her roots really show when we move next door to Loud Joy, an exotic instrument store. The recordings are the sum, but when she gets her hands on the instruments, the possibilities of the whole emerge. DeVestern is one musician who likes doing it more than analyzing it. Grabbing djembes, djun djuns and marimbas, like a child in a toy store, DeVestern is in her element. Here, amidst the rattle, bang and swoosh of Loud Joy, she takes out her wallet and asks if they take credit cards.
Ithaca Times
Janis Joplin exploded upon the music world like a supernova blazing on the horizon. She rocketed to fame with an electrifying performance at the Monterey Pop Festival and ascended to superstardom with the release of Big Brother and the Holding Company's Cheap Thrills album. It's been years since she passed away, yet Janis continues to rule as the queen that every talented female blues rocker is measured against. The comparisons with Janis began for Brooklyn-based singer Halley DeVestern when she released Sugar Free in 1997. Her soulful vocals on "I'll Light Myself On Fire" plunge right into the emotional heartbeat of rocky relationships, and on "I'm Over It" she sings passionately about the gut-wrenching freedom that comes after realizing that she's reached the point of no return. The singer's vocal phrasing and the funky rhythms on "They Ain't Got the Ways" do remind me of Janis's Kosmic Blues days, but the biggest similarity between the two lies in the messages of the songs and the rockin' way they're delivered. "It's certainly an honor to be compared to Janis Joplin because she's the female rock and roll singer's icon," says DeVestern. "She was such a great force in music, because she had such an incredible instrument. I think a lot of singers get compared to her because there really hasn't been another woman who sang with such power and such a connection to incredible emotions. She was really driven by these incredible muses, and there hasn't been anyone who's touched that in a long time. So, when reviewers and fans see somebody who has a lotta power and emotion, they get compared to Janis." The singer's performances were limited to the metropolitan area until last fall, when she was asked to do an East Coast tour with the original members of Big Brother and the Holding Company. "It was like some kind of surreal dream at first," says DeVestern. "Here are the guys that I was listening to as a kid. These were big shoes to fill." One high point for DeVestern was the experience of performing the showstopping "Ball and Chain" with Big Brother. "It's like your most favorite and least favorite song to do because it's so demanding," Says DeVestern. "It's such a powerful song, and I get to feel like a real rock and roll diva for ten minutes, cause that's totally what it's about. It's like you've totally got the audience in the palm of your hand." The tour also enabled her to understand the undying devotion that people still have for Janis. "Sometimes people would come up to me in tears and say 'you brought it all back,'" recalls DeVestern. "If you think about it, a large part of the experience that those people have is fueled by their memories." Halley DeVestern is a highly talented singer songwriter and this Friday's performance at the Common Ground is part of their continuing Women's Concert Series. The show gets under way at 8pm and will conclude in time for everyone to catch the fireworks at IC.
The Citizen (Auburn, NY)
Janis Joplin lives? Well not exactly, but the next best thing is taking the country by storm. And, believe it or not, Auburn too. Blues belter and guitarist Halley DeVestern is coming on like a strong comet, bringing a fresh flavor to the blues scene... The comparisons are many, but she stands alone when it comes to a delivery that is dynamic and diversified. Halley DeVestern was selected to be featured on a MIDEM CD along with Christina Aguilera, Blink 182 and Diana Krall. DeVestern will bring her raucous blues-induced rock 'n' roll style to Tinker's Guild in Auburn for a rare gig... She is currently on tour in support of her latest CD "Live at the Towpath Inn," the follow-up to her debut "Sugar Free."... "It took a little getting used to, but I like it now," she said about touring. "You never know what to expect." She has opened for John Hammond, Government Mule and Jimmy Vaughn and even toured as the lead singer of Big Brother & the Holding Company, Joplin's original band. "It was amazing, really fun, and mind blowing," she said of that experience. "I still can't believe I did it. They are legends. It's music you listened to for years. My sister and brothers had all the records, so it's kind of in my blood. It was pretty cool." Her career has been varied and she is not particularly looking forward to signing a major record deal. "It isn't necessarily my goal," she said. "I just want to keep doing what I'm doing and be able to pay my bills." DeVestern is actually a person who is varied in her tastes and likes. "I'm really boring," she said of the activities that occupy what spare time she has when off the road. Heck, during one of our phone conversations, she actually called from her neighborhood laundromat. How cool is that? "I'm really boring. I like to do crossword puzzles. I love reading history books (currently reading 'Gotham.'). I watch a lot of television, I'm ashamed to say." ..."When the weather is right," she said about her fascination with gardening in the Big Apple, "I try to make something grow up out of the Brooklyn soil." DeVestern has been featured in Seventeen and Billboard, reached the Top Ten Editor's Picks of last year, appeared on CBS This Morning, and has even become a favorite on Rochester radio station WCMF's Brother Wease Show. "It's nice to get out of New York [City]," she said about touring in other parts of the United States. "Audiences are generally more appreciative. You feel a lot more love out there, and happy vibes too."

"One needs only to look back to the landmark case (the People vs. Milli Vanilli) to understand that if you can't cut it live, you can't cut it period. And she cuts it like the knife fight in West Side Story. With just guitar, fiddle, and drums, the disc proves to be a thumping, bluesy ride that actually benefits from the sparseness by promoting her voice. And her voice, when mellow, reminds one of Natalie Merchant, until she gets cooking, at which point she takes the road less traveled by the former, and sings from the gut like Janis Joplin. Heck, I almost felt like taking a pull off a bottle of gin. DeVestern was also part of the Indiegrrl circuit, and when success hits, which should be soon, she'll be packing the big houses on her own. Strong, soulful stuff."

Halley DeVestern is a pop pugilist. When she lashes out at her targets - lowdown men, broken relationships, timid parents - she doesn't swing wildly, she lands a shattering uppercut... One part Joan Osborne, another Natalie Merchant, with a whopping dose of Janis Joplin tossed in, DeVestern sings like a woman possessed. With the bluesy inflection of a gin-joint queen, her voice soars over this razor-sharp collection of country-tinged, organ-drenched songs. Had Maria McKee lived up to her potential, this is the record she would have made. Why Sugar Free wasn't released on a major label is anybody's guess. DeVestern's irascible manner is as radio-friendly as any Alanis Morissette or Meredith Brooks. She's no sweet little pop moppet, but her debut effort is richer than double-chocolate cake. "Performance: A Songwriting: A Sound Quality: A [an extremely rare Triple-A rating]
Bostonia Magazine
With a tight rock/R&B sound and a voice that brings to mind Janis Joplin, DeVestern is a roots rocker with an attitude - a bad attitude.