What started as a bedroom project in 2010 for songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist Ryan Christopher Parks (whose collaborative track with Boots Riley “OYAHYTT” features heavily in Riley’s 2018 film “Sorry to Bother You”) with the addition of Parks’ good friends Andrew Macy on bass, and Raj Kumar Ojha on drums (Once and Future Band, Shannon Shaw Band, Howlin’ Rain), B. Hamilton has since become one of Oakland, California’s staple rock-and-roll bands. With Parks’ moody, atmospheric guitar riffs and lyrical ability to encapsulate entire characters and scenes within a few short minutes, there is a decidedly driven, cinematic feel to B. Hamilton’s sound.
B. Hamilton’s fourth album Nothing and Nowhere is an album to drive late at night to, windows down, pounding along with Ojha and Macy’s urgent, yet steadfast tempos and rhythms on the roof of the car to stay awake. Parks’ vocals and guitar take us over potholed, winding terrain that has lead many from adolescence into adulthood.
In the album opener “North San Juan,” Parks describes the fall out of 1960’s San Francisco’s “Summer of Love” in contemporary Northern California. A situation where “Peace and Love” has given way to addiction, false prophets, and youthful recklessness. Numbers like “45 and Straight” may be more a meditation on the kind of adult one hopes they don’t become: disillusioned, entitled, sitting on a powder keg of resentments. “Song for T.W.” cements the album’s theme that love is excruciating and worth fighting for, while hate is easy and designed for the weak.
B. Hamilton’s new album Nothing and Nowhere will be available October 15th on vinyl and digital/streaming platforms via Sofaburn Records. B. Hamilton’s new single “North San Juan” is out today! Click here to purchase.
Nothing and Nowhere track listing:
01. North San Juan
02. Whatever is Owed to Me
03. Song For TW
04. 45 and Straight
05. Fight Everything
06. Sarajevo Roses
07. Keep a Little Light On (digital-only release)
Photo credit: Luke Judd