What do you get when you put some of the best and the busiest musicians in the Netherlands together, who all loved ‘Americana’ before that term was even invented? Right: Americana Deluxe. With two international renowned singer songwriters in their ranks such as BJ Baartmans and Eric Devries expectations were raised to the highest level. Especially since both have been working together since the late ’90-ties be it either on albums by Baartmans or albums by Devries. With singer / drummer Sjoerd van Bommel and bassist Gerald van Beuningen even the four of them occasionally shared the same stage for years in various projects under different names.
But now for the first time together as a band called Hidden Agenda Deluxe with hammond organist Rob Geboers as a permanent guest musician they came up with ‘Pan Alley Fever’ and an alt-country celebration it is. ‘Pan Alley Fever’ is a divers album, partly because there are three lead vocalists, with each their own characteristic voice that also fit together perfectly.
Twelve originals by either Baartmans or Devries or van Bommel and one well chosen cover make up for a burst of spontaneity and creativity, recorded in six days in Baartmans’ studio Wild Verband in the Netherlands.
Quotes from the press..
This cocky company, pulls twelve self-penned, great ear-jearking, songs out of the hat.
The recently released debut CD Pan Alley Fever appears to be nothing but an unexpected gift of spring. Out of the blue there is this band that catches the Americana afficionados by surprise with their skilled and selfassured sound and posture.
(NL) Magazine / muziekkrant OOR (Rene Megens)
They take their hats off to Poco, The Allman Bothers, The Band, Neville Brothers, JJ Cale, Iain Matthews, Ry Cooder, Ishrael Nash Gripka en Neil Young. And they do this honest and openly, with no hidden agenda. And with style.
This album takes you back to the seventies.. reminiscent of the Allman Brothers, playfull guitars, shades of Little Feat, gospel-like… soulful funky in tradition of Dr. John… harmonies like Poco
…for the best rootsmusic from the Netherlands you have to be in the south as well.. Proof of that is underlined by ‘Pan Alley Fever’… sparkling guitarstrings, great harmonies and a dream of a melody make it like it’s summer inside your head..
Like they used to in the Seventies.. Very highly recommended..
When I first heard the Pan Alley Fever, the debut album from Hidden Agenda Deluxe, I imagined that they must come out of Georgia or Alabama with their Allman Brothers meets The Band vibe. It appears that I missed the geographic location by about ten thousand miles. While you can stream it here in the US on Spotify or download it from Amazon, so far there is little press about these guys and I see only a few one-off gigs booked. Looks like their own solo careers keeps them pretty busy but this album could change that.