• Bryon Harris

Happy Curmudgeons - 'Bar Hoppin"

Updated: Jun 21, 2021

Reviewed by Aaron Cloutier & Staff

The Happy Curmudgeons return once again with the surprisingly rocking “Bar Hoppin,’” a hard driving tune that doesn’t beat around the bush.

The inspiration behind the song is about rewinding back to college days and spending the weekend out on the town with someone close. To me, the song properly conveys this as the fast paced nature of the music would serve as a great backdrop to a college bar setting. The music brings you right into the venue. I can see a young couple in a noisy watering hole huddled together at a table in the corner while a host of drunken patrons celebrate in the midst of the energy and vibe of the performance. This is immediately recognizable in direct lyrics like:

“Hey, babe - Let's have some fun

Hey, babe - Lying in the sun

I'll take you to the show, anywhere you wanna go it's alright

I'll take you to the show, anywhere you wanna go it's alright”

Musically, I noticed a lot of departures on this one compared to the song’s I’ve heard from the Curmudgeons in the past. On “Bar Hoppin’ the players come together to create a tight kit sound bed teaming with energy that screams “celebration”. A sound noticeably different from a more laid back tune like “Meant to Be” or “2nd Chances,” showcasing the band's versatility and mass appeal capabilities.

Despite the use of acoustic guitars taking up the rhythm duties, the fast paced strumming along with the driving rhythm section (I particularly enjoy how upfront in the mix the bass is.) builds a vibe that conjures up an energy and even a slight aggression only found in true Rock. I admit, I was quite surprised and equally delighted upon hearing this!

There were a lot of surprises actually. I was pleased to hear some incredibly tight vocal harmonies courtesy of singer/songwriter Dave Hamilton and additional vocalist Amy Dixon-Lavery who served to really thicken up the vocal hooks throughout the tune. On top of that, I was introduced to not one, but two scorching guitar solos chock full of bluesy pentatonic licks played with a great amount of feeling. The lead guitar and vocal work serves as tasty decorations over the the solid foundation that bassist Takshi Iio, drummer Rick Beamon and Hamilton have laid down.

Beamon’s work in particular caught my ear as the more conservative drum fills slowly grew into mini Neal Peart snippets. I’m not gonna lie, I caught myself saying “Woah” out loud a couple of times.

Listeners who take a few minutes to have a listen may find themselves saying “Woah” as well. The Happy Curmudgeons surprise and delight around a corner of their songs.

Stream on Spotify!


About the Happy Curmudgeons

The Happy Curmudgeons are a group of musicians mainly from the metro Detroit area. The group was founded by Dave Hamilton and they released their first album, Meant 2 Be, in 2017. The band is currently working on their second album with their producer, Mark Byerly. For more information about the Happy Curmudgeons, please visit their website.

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