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Describing their style as "new music for old souls," Hoots and Hellmouth are a Philadelphia-based roots music act whose music brings together the passion of alt-country and the rustic tone of acoustic folk, merging them with loping jam band grooves. Sean Hoots and Andrew Gray (aka Hellmouth) were both veterans of the Pennsylvania alternative rock scene when they began making music together in 2005 -- Gray released an album as a member of Midiron Blast Shaft and Hoots spent five years with the group Pilot Around the Sun. Eager to move in a different direction, Hoots and Gray began writing songs together on their acoustic guitars, and started playing out as a duo. In time, friends were joining in with Hoots and Hellmouth on-stage, and before long Rob Berliner on mandolin and Tom Celfo on upright bass (both former members of Pilot Around the Sun) became a regular part of the show. After a breakthrough appearance at the 2006 Philadelphia Folk Festival, the group established a loyal following in its hometown, and frequent touring through the South earned the band a large fan base there as well. Hoots and Hellmouth landed a deal with the WEA-distributed Mad Dragon Records label and in April 2007 they released their debut album, simply called Hoots and Hellmouth. A second album from Mad Dragon, Holy Open Secret, followed two years later in 2009.
Hoots & Hellmouth is an American band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Hoots & Hellmouth was formed in 2005 by Sean Hoots and Andrew Gray. The formation of the band was partially a reaction to and a rebellion against the grandiose rock-star attitude of modern rock bands, with which both were previously involved. They initially started the group as a duo, playing roots music intended to evoke the feeling of revival shows. They eventually expanded to four members after adding Pilot Round The Sun guitarist Rob Berliner and John Branigan. Most of the time, they play without a live drummer, instead stomping and using hand percussion such as tambourines. The group's self-titled debut appeared in 2007 on MAD Dragon Records, distributed by Warner. In early 2008, the album, Hoots & Hellmouth, won in The 7th Annual Independent Music Awards for Best College Record Label Album. Their follow-up album, The Holy Open Secret, arrived in 2009. On Friday, August 21, as part of their months-long CD release tour, the band headlined their second WXPN Free at Noon concert, playing an 8-song set. The show, which was videotaped for WHYY-TV's weekly On Canvas program, took place at World Cafe Live and was broadcast live via radio. On April 19, 2010 "The Window in the Woodshed" was unveiled on HootsandHellmouth.com. A video for unreleased new material titled "The Photograph is Still." In early November 2010 the band unveiled through their Facebook page, Kickstarter, and other media that they were no longer carried by a label. They had been working on new material for some time and still wished to release a new album. Their Kickstarter project, titled "It came from the woodshed!" was announced on November 5, 2010, with an initial goal of $6,000 to produce and record a 6-song EP. Eventually, when the pledged total reached the $10,000 mark on November 23, the band issued an update asking for fans to reach the $15,000 mark so a full LP could be produced. By December 6, 2010, the campaign achieved $23,882 and was listed in Kickstarter's Hall of Fame, which lists 100 of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns since the company's inception in 2009. The album is presumably set to be recorded in February, 2011, while they are on tour in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which is where the band has studio time booked.