Beer-drenched growls, manic psychobilly guitar solos, walloping drums and the occasional burlesque dancer populate a typical Johnny Hootrock show. Lead singer Clem Hoot comes from good stock, having been a founding member of fellow Austin acid-tripping roots rockers The Flametrick Subs.
So, is it a surprise that Hoot is also a strident soldier in the Kiss army? Not according to Hoot, who covers a Kiss song on a live album, “6.66 Gallons fer Twenty Bucks.”
“I’ve been a longtime Kiss fan; there’s no hiding that,” Hoot said.
The cover of the Ace Frehley-penned “Parasite” is showered in Lone Star guitar jangle as a fitting tribute to one of Hoot’s beloved guitar-slingers. To further confuse matters, Hoot said a Johnny Cash song regularly pops up in the act’s show, as does a tribute to Duke Ellington and a cover of T.Rex’s “Solid Gold Easy Action.”
“If we are going to do cover songs, we want to make it obscure and make it a Hootrock song ” put our own stamp on it, but pay tribute to the band,” Hoot said.
Although Hoot and the group are known for their unique take on tribute songs, that’s just a part of the act. The band will duck into the studio this fall to record a full-length studio release of originals, and Hoot said he is also on the lookout for burlesque performers to join the band through the rest of the tour.
“We are definitely burlesque-friendly, and if there are any burlesque dancers who want to come onstage for some go-go action, we are OK with that,” he said.
Johnny Hootrock will join local soul-country band Baby Muscles for a 10 p.m. Friday show at 66 Bowl, 3810 N.W. 39th. For more information, call 946-3966. ” Charles Martin