The Hodoo Rhythm Devilsrode the post-hippie wave emanating from San Francisco at the dawn of the '70s. Fusing blues boogie with country-rock rave-ups, full-throated rock & roll and a hint of soul, they didn't quite sound like any other band in the Bay Area in the early '70s. In a 1972 Rolling Stone rave of their second album, The Barbecue Of DeVille, Nick Toshes compared the group to Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen and Asleep at The Wheel, which points to how the band was closer to the American equivalent of British pub rock than an extension of Steve Miller's spacy blues. Maybe that's why they were nothing more than a cult act, releasing five records before splitting in 1978.
The Hoodoo Rhythm Devils formed in 1970 when guitar teacher John Rewind teamed with Joe Crane- a bassist who played with Johnny and Edgar Winter back in his home state of Texas -- on the advice of one of his students. Rewind recruited drummer Glenn Walters- the two had played in a St. Louis band called the Zoo in the '60s -- and added bassist Richard Greene, who played with Roberta Flack, among others, in Washington, D.C. Initially calling themselves Joe Crane and His Hoodoo Rhythm Devils , the band truncated their appellation to the Hoodoo Rhythm Devils by the time their debut, Rack Jobber Rule, came out on Capitol in 1971. The band added second drummer Roger Clark-- formerly of The Steve Miller Band -- for 1972's The Barbecue of DeVille, which was released on Blue Thumb. During that year, the band toured extensively but it didn't help break them to a wider audience. Clark left after the tour and Keith Knudsen (The Doobie Brothers) played some gigs with them before they hired Jerome Kinsey to drum on 1973's What The Kids Wantt. Although the Hoodoo Rhythm Devils were gaining some recognition from their peers in the form of covers of Crane's songs --Commender Cody and Johnny Winter recorded his tunes, as did Patti LaBelle and The Chamber Brothers -- the band itself was stalled.