The Hoodoo Rhythm Devils: Exploring the Legacy of a Unique Band

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The Hoodoo Rhythm Devils: Exploring the Legacy of a Unique Band

When it comes to music, genres and styles often blend, giving birth to unique sounds that captivate audiences across generations. The Hoodoo Rhythm Devils were one such band that left an indelible mark on the music scene in the 1970s. Combining elements of rock, blues, and folk, this San Francisco-based group defied categorization and created a sound that was uniquely their own. In this blog post, we dive deep into the world of the Hoodoo Rhythm Devils, exploring their origins, musical style, and lasting impact.

Origins and Early Days

The Hoodoo Rhythm Devils formed in 1971 in the vibrant music scene of San Francisco. The band was the brainchild of guitarist and vocalist Glenn Walters, and he was soon joined by Richard Sussman on keyboards, Andy Stein on saxophone and violin, Steve Rood on bass guitar, and Lloyd Meadows on drums. This eclectic lineup brought together musicians with diverse backgrounds, resulting in a unique blend of influences that would define the band’s sound.

As a group, the Hoodoo Rhythm Devils were known for their high-energy performances and exuberant stage presence. Their live shows became legendary, drawing fans from all over the San Francisco Bay Area. The band quickly garnered a dedicated following, and their reputation as a must-see act earned them opening slots for renowned artists like Elvin Bishop and B.B. King.

Musical Style: A Fusion of Genres

The Hoodoo Rhythm Devils’ music defied easy categorization, drawing on a wide range of influences to create a sound that was uniquely their own. Their style encompassed elements of rock, blues, folk, and even jazz, blending these genres seamlessly to produce catchy and memorable tunes.

One of the defining features of the band’s music was their intricate instrumentation. The interplay between Glenn Walters’ guitar, Richard Sussman’s keyboards, and Andy Stein’s saxophone and violin created a rich tapestry of sound that served as the foundation for their compositions. Each instrument took turns in the spotlight, adding depth and complexity to the band’s arrangements.

Lyrically, the Hoodoo Rhythm Devils explored a range of themes, from love and heartbreak to societal issues and introspection. Their songwriting often delved into introspective and poetic territory, reflecting the introspective nature of the 1970s counterculture movement.

Album after album, the band maintained their commitment to pushing musical boundaries and experimenting with new sounds. Their discography includes standout albums like “Safe in Their Homes” (1972), “Rock ‘n’ Roll Forever” (1973), and “All Kidding Aside” (1976). Each release showcased the band’s growth and evolution as artists.

Legacy and Influence

Despite the Hoodoo Rhythm Devils’ short-lived tenure as an active band, their legacy continues to resonate with music enthusiasts today. Their genre-blending approach to music was ahead of its time, inspiring future artists to experiment with different styles and sounds.

In particular, their influence can be heard in the works of other prominent artists from the era. The band’s fusion of rock, blues, and folk served as a precursor to the eclectic sounds of later acts such as The Black Crowes and The John Butler Trio. The Hoodoo Rhythm Devils were pioneers in breaking down the barriers between genres.

Furthermore, the band’s commitment to live performances was influential in itself. Their high-energy shows and captivating stage presence set a standard for live acts that continues to inspire musicians to this day. The electrifying atmosphere they created on stage remains an aspiration for many artists striving to connect with their audience.

Despite their contributions, the Hoodoo Rhythm Devils never achieved mainstream commercial success. However, the band’s enduring cult following ensures that their music lives on and continues to captivate new listeners.


The Hoodoo Rhythm Devils may not be a household name, but their impact on the music industry cannot be overstated. Their challenging and unapologetic blend of genres paved the way for future musicians to explore new sounds and styles. Their dedication to pushing musical boundaries and creating captivating live performances remains an inspiration for artists today.

If you’re intrigued by the Hoodoo Rhythm Devils and want to experience their music for yourself, consider delving into their discography or seeking out recordings of their electrifying live performances. Their unique sound and undeniable talent make them a must-listen for anyone interested in the evolution of rock and roll.

So, take a step back in time and explore the captivating world of the Hoodoo Rhythm Devils. Immerse yourself in their groundbreaking music and discover why they continue to be celebrated as true pioneers of their craft.

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The Hoodoo Rhythm Devils: Exploring the Legacy of a Unique Band