Delmarva classic-rock band Hooverville is headed south this summer, making their debut at Brew River Restaurant & Bar in Salisbury, Md., on July 25 and taking their sound to the beach at Locals Under the Lights at the Freeman Stage at Bayside in West Fenwick on Aug. 27.
Their name gives a nod to the deep roots of rock-and-roll in American history and, appropriately, the four-piece classic rock band’s set-list is peppered with blues and bluegrass influences, along with some of the best of rock from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s (and a few ’80s classics, too), from both sides of the Atlantic.
Hooverville lead guitarist and vocalist Danny Beck blends the blues-flavored licks of Stevie Ray Vaughn and Jimmie Hendrix with the deep growl of a veteran blues singer, despite his comparative youth, at just 30.
Rhythm guitarist and vocalist James Marquardt is also Beck’s partner in the acoustic duo that in 2014 was named as the Delmarva Folk Festival’s Folk Hero. (The pair will also host this year’s contest, making use of James’ ebullient personality — which, as bassist Al “Big Al” Cook routinely notes, is five times as big as Marquardt’s physical stature.)
Marquardt also gives voice to the band’s renditions of classic Rolling Stones tunes, as well as danceable and sing-along favorites including “Keep Your Hands to Yourself.”
“Big Al” brings to Hooverville more than two decades of experience as a bass player and 15 years of work as a professional sound engineer, both for live performances and in the studio. When he’s not entertaining audiences behind the bass and mic for Hooverville, or running sound for one of his numerous clients, Cook often steps in at bass and vocals (and sometimes sound engineer) for legendary Ocean City, Md., rockers Tranzfusion, who consider him the fifth member of the band and dubbed him “Big Al” for the big sound he delivers.
Providing the backbone of Hooverville’s beat is John “Taco” Wroten, who has played professionally in country and rock acts since 1980, with more than a decade playing in nationally touring groups and in the country music scene in Oklahoma, including briefs stops in Nashville and Los Angeles, for opening stints for Marty Haggard and others.
Marquardt described Hooverville’s music as “the classic rock that people forgot they loved.”
“Everywhere we go, people say, ‘Oh, my god… — I love your sets!’ That just reinforces that every time I hear that. When is the last time you heard Dylan’s ‘Knocking on Heaven’s Door’? … There’s a difference in that music that we play.”
“We try not to play those token covers,” Beck noted, reflecting set-list choices including “Mustang Sally,” while Cook pointed to the rockabilly that often pops up when Hooverville takes the stage as an example of their cherry-picking within the various rock-related musical genres.
“How many bands around here do ‘Stuck in the Middle with You’?” Wroten offered.
And playing these classic tunes isn’t something Hooverville does just to keep their audiences dancing and singing along. For them, it’s a labor of love.
“I love the music that we play. I love learning it,” Marquardt enthused.
And the resulting show is something audiences ranging from visitors to Dover Downs and the standing-room-only crowd at the Bayview Inn in Bowers Beach to fine-diners at Abbott’s Grill & Bald Jason’s Pub in Milford have taken a shine to, hitting the dance floor with vibrant enjoyment of Hooverville’s energetic covers and sitting back to relish the soulful sounds of that bluesy influence.
“Hooverville is a band to experience,” said Wroten. “Every performance is different. It’s an experience.”
Hooverville will entertain the crowd at Brew River Restaurant & Bar in Salisbury, Md., on Saturday, July 25, from 6 to 10 p.m. They’ll be featured at Locals Under the Lights at the open-air Freeman Stage at Bayside on Thursday, Aug. 27, with the free-admission show starting at 7 p.m.
Other upcoming performances this summer include their monthly appearance at the Bayview Inn in Bowers Beach (July 18), and July 31 at Killens Pond State Park’s Summer Concert Series, as well as numerous other private functions, benefit events and shows throughout the peninsula.
For more information on Hooverville, contact James Marquardt at (302) 538-0088 or Hoovervillebookings@gmail.com, or visit the band’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Hoovervillemusic/, where there are also links to recordings of their live performances. To contact Al Cook about live sound services, call (302) 521-5935 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.