Today, GuitarWorld.com presents the exclusive premiere of "Little Devil," a stark yet sticky new track by East Nashville-based singer-songwriter-guitarist Derek Hoke. The song is from Hoke's new album, Bring the Flood, which will be released October 9 via Little Hollywood.
In its own plaintive, reverb-drenched way, the album (and "Little Devil") is indicative of the exciting new sound coming out of the greater Nashville area in late 2017—a sound that's not quite country, not quite rock, not quite blues, surf or acid jazz—yet full of pith and delicious retro references.
"'Little Devil' follows the very long musical tradition of writing about a girl that’s nothing but trouble," Hoke tells us. "There's E.L.O.’s 'Evil Woman,' Marty Robbins’ 'Devil Woman,' etc. The list goes on.
"I had the melody and the chorus to the tune for a few weeks. Just hammering the same four notes out on my '68 Tele over and over. I used a Prescription Electronics Yardbox to get the point across. Once I had the verses and chorus, my producer Dex Green and I started putting it all together. 'Simple caveman drums' was how I described the rhythm I wanted to hear. That’s how we got drummer Matt Chamberlain (Fiona Apple, the Wallflowers) involved. He played a killer straight beat that still swings hard. Dex brought on his friend Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars) for the solo and outro.
"We used a Danelectro Back Talk on it; it's one of best reverse delays out there. Luther played one of his many Gibson hollowbody guitars while we twisted knobs on the pedal. It took us all out of our comfort zones. When we listened back, we knew it was worth it. It definitely added something unique to the project."
Assisted by contributions from friends and neighbors, including Dickinson, Elizabeth Cook, Langhorne Slim and Aaron Lee Tasjan, then molded into a cohesive whole by Dex Green, Bring the Flood finds Hoke more visceral, honest and intuitive than at any other point in his career.
For more about Hoke, visit derekhoke.com.