Saturday, March 9, 2024

#666 : One Dime Band - Side Hustle (


One Dime Band

Side Hustle

2024 – Toneblanket Records

By Phillip Smith; Mar. 9, 2024

Original source :


One Dime Band from Boston, Massachusetts has caught my full attention with their third and latest album Side Hustle. In serving up thirteen all-original tracks, the band delivers a savory bowl of musical gumbo made from assorted blues sub-genres gathered along the Mississippi River from St. Louis, through Memphis, and down to the Big Easy.    

The core of the band is an acoustic duo comprised of John Brauchler on guitars, resonator, and banjo and Paul Gallucci on vocals, harmonica, percussion, and rhythm guitar. In 2022 they were winners of the Boston Blues Society Blues Challenge in the solo/duo category.  In 2023 they were winners of the Granite State Blues Society Challenge in the same category.  In 2024, they entered the International Blues Challenge in Memphis and made it to the Semi-Finals. Their backing band consists of Romeo Dubois on drums, Paul Kochanski on upright bass and electric bass, Alizon Lissance on piano, organ, and accordion, Ilana Katz Katz on fiddle, Holly Harris on percussion, Johnny Blue Horn on trumpet, Mario Perrett on saxophone, with Robin Hathaway and Tim Curry on backing vocals.

A blast of horns and a buttery Stax-fueled groove kicks the door in with a fist-full of funk on title-track “Side Hustle”. I absolutely love this one. Visions of cypress trees wading in the swampy waters of Mississippi come to my mind with each listen of “Blackfoot Sun”. Powered by Brauchler on resonator and, Gallucci on harp, this favorite is topped with a delectable fiddle performance by Katz. I’m drawn in to Kochanski’s crawling, infectious bassline on “Dr. Shine”.  It remarkably creates an ominous feeling of impending doom in this brilliant blues song about escaping reality. “Soul to Keep”, a slow-cooked blues duet with the lovely Robin Hathaway, sweeps me off my feet.  Brauchler digs his heels in deep and releases some gorgeous tones on this one. The smell of late Sixties funk wafts through the air on the instrumental “Rib Grease”.  An intoxicating rhythm, blasts of brass, and a groovy riff all adds up to a fabulous listen. 

Loaded with musical twists and turns, Side Hustle is terrific from beginning to end.




I wouldn’t say that review number 666 is a milestone, but the number does have some significance to some. In order to establish the connection to this review, I will share this story. When I first saw the cd cover featuring a pool table with red and green neon-lettered windows behind, a wave of familiarity washed over. I knew I had played on at that table before, I just wasn’t immediately sure where.  I then made it a mission to figure this out. The letters on the windows in reverse order were the first three letters of a place I have frequented occasionally on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee called The Absinthe Room. Once I located photos of The Absinthe Room on Google, I was able to verify that the cover photo was in fact taken from the inside of that exact establishment.

This is where the synchronicity begins. A piece of blues historical trivia I know about this place is that at one time this was Hooks Brothers Photography Studio. Hooks Brothers took the only known studio photo of the legendary blues player Robert Johnson. And for those who don’t know, Johnson allegedly sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads to achieve his guitar mastery. And that’s the tie-in to review #666.



These photos featuring the Absinthe Room on Beale Street are ones I took of this location myself on two different visits to Memphis.


·       * Photos by Phillip Smith

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