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Houndog is the duo of Mike Halby, who has played with Canned Heat and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, and David Hidalgo, of Los Lobos.
Their self-titled 1999 debut album, recorded in Halby's home studio, is not so much swamp-blues as murk-blues. The basic, at times lo-fi production and gutbucket songs give this a foggy mystery, akin to another of Hidalgo's side projects, the Latin Playboys. Halby has a voice so low it sometimes sounds like a 45 RPM single playing at 33 RPM, and his convincingly throaty style can recall, though it does not imitate, vintage Chess greats like Muddy and the Wolf. This is probably too arty for some straight blues fans, but Houndog succeeds at twisting electric blues into some interesting new directions while maintaining a lot of grit and funk. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi


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