Little Hurricane

Monqui Presents

Little Hurricane

Sat, July 15

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

Wonder Ballroom

Portland, OR

$18.00 - $20.00

This event is all ages

Little Hurricane
Little Hurricane
For the recording of their sophomore album
Gold Fever
, San
Diego-based dirty-blues twosome Little Hurricane skipped the studio
and rented out a 19th-century apple-packing house in an old gold
mining town. For two weeks, singer/guitarist Tone Catalano and
drummer/vocalist C.C. Spina hunkered down with vintage equipment
borrowed from a friend who once recorded with legendary bands like
the Grateful Dead and Deep Purple. Sweating through a mid-summer
heat wave in their air-conditioner-free surroundings—and often visited
by tarantulas, turkeys, deer, and other local creatures—Little Hurricane
quickly found their new album taking on a swampy yet ethereal vibe
that slyly captures the spirit of the weirder, wilder corners of Southern
California.
The follow-up to
Homewrecker
(the debut album Little Hurricane
self-released in 2011),
Gold Fever
busts open its predecessor’s rootsy
blues-rock with an Americana-influenced sense of storytelling, a
disarming ease with breezy melody, and a broader sonic palette. At
turns stark and lushly textured, the album draws much inspiration from
Tone and C.C.’s frequent getaways to the desert and their shared love
of Salvation Mountain, the Salton Sea, and “all those places where
kooky people go to escape the rest of the world,” according to C.C.
Also essential to
Gold Fever
’s sonics were the acoustics of the
recording space itself—located in Julian, California, the house was built
from foot-and-a-half-thick stone and crammed with thousands of books
left behind by its author-owners—as well as Little Hurricane’s use of
analog equipment. “It’s the same equipment that made those bands
sound so good back in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and it really helps to balance
out the digital edge from the more modern technology we’re
sometimes using,” notes Tone, a longtime audiophile who served as
producer on
Gold Fever.
Formed in 2010 and fast recognized as a killer live act, Little Hurricane
devoted two years to the creation of
Gold Fever
. “
Homewrecker
was
recorded literally while touring, in kitchens and living rooms all over
the place, so for this one we wanted to take more time and see what
happened,” says C.C. While the album has a heart-on-sleeve honesty
that’s deeply intimate,
Gold Fever
also delivers a slew of songs huge in
sound and scope. “Playing big festivals over the past couple years and
getting on those bigger stages motivated us to write bigger songs,”
she points out.
Little Hurricane builds off their dirty-blues dynamic for nearly every
track on
Gold Fever
, but infuses each song with such unexpected and
inspired touches such as the ghosty effects of “Summer Air,” the swell
of strings on the otherwise frenetic “Sorry Son” (a gut-punching
number about C.C.’s brother and his struggle with addiction, written
from her parents’ perspective), the horn-soaked soul of “Boiling
Water,” the snakey groove of “No Man’s Land,” and the
handclap-backed strut and growl of “Grand Canyon.” Throughout
Gold
Fever
, C.C.’s drumming shifts from thundering and frantic to crisp and
razor-sharp, while Tone’s guitar work encompasses lead-heavy riffs,
bluegrass-style twang, and gorgeously understated soloing. And
although Tone serves as Little Hurricane’s main vocalist, C.C. lends her
honeyed yet earthy vocals to songs like the spooky, swaying
“Breathe,” the sultry stomper of a title track, and the slow-burning but
anthemic lead single “Sheep In Wolves Clothes.”
Each of the songs on
Gold Fever
was sparked from close collaboration
between Tone and C.C., who first found each other through a Craigslist
ad. Originally from Chicago, C.C. started playing drums when she was
just ten-years-old (“My dad brought me home the Iron Butterfly album
with ‘In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,’ and that had a big impact on me wanting to
be a drummer,” she says). Attending culinary school after high school
(and interning at the House of Blues Chicago’s Foundation Room,
where her love of blues was born), she moved to San Diego and bought
herself a drum kit to get back to playing music.
Born in Santa Cruz and raised on Van Morrison by his “East Coast
hippie” parents, Tone picked up guitar in seventh grade and played in
a post-punk band in high school and college. Though he’d kept up with
guitar over the years, Tone’s career was focused on his work in audio
engineering, with an expertise in live recordings that led him to work
with artists from Gwen Stefani to Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones.
“Working as an engineer, I started to see that a lot of bands were using
playback tracks in their live performance,” he says. “It bothered me
that so few people were just playing music, so I started to look for a
drummer to make music of our own.”
That commitment to organic, unadorned sound is evident in the Little
Hurricane’s live experience, which has graced major festivals like
Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits in recent years. “Live is what we’re
really all about, and we try to put on as big a show we can for
everyone,” says C.C. The stripped-down but amped-up two-piece
dynamic also goes a long way in maintaining Little Hurricane’s
beautifully brutal energy, even on the more intricate and
melody-soaked arrangements heard throughout
Gold Fever
. “One of
the most important things for us on this album was making sure we
never strayed too far from just good, straight-up rock-and-roll
recording,” Tone says. “We try to keep it raw and honest, and with the
two of us that’s not so hard.”