Reviews & Articles

Maverick Magazine - UK

The Bonedrivers
Roadhouse Manifesto
Blue Black BB5326
Country, rock, blues and everything in-between in a great roadhouse tradition
If you’re going to announce yourself to the world, then you might as well do it in style. And the explosion of rock’n’roll that is Who Burned My Building Down? ROADHOUSE MANIFESTO’s opening track, means that this band and album you’ll not forget in a hurry. While it and Evil Twin Sisters cast more than a nod in the direction of the great Jimi Hendrix. If that was all there was, then ROADHOUSE MANIFESTO would be a short step to the band performing Hendrix covers in an attempt to entertain an audience who wished the real thing was in front of it. But there’s a whole lot more to the Bonedrivers. Hailing from Northern California the band plays Live to Ride, a wind in the hair, sun on the back anthem, with a freedom that would make many a more illustrious name proud.
The band utilises the talents of two distinct vocalists, Johnnie Callerton and Keith Karloff. Unfortunately the liner notes don’t differentiate between the two, an omission that doesn’t spoil the enjoyment but would have been nice. It means that the band can change its colours from the out and out country-rock band of Light In The Morning and Lou Ann to the gritty, earthy blues outfit of the near-ten minute epic Macon Bacon. An album entirely of one style would be fine, to be offered both is an unexpected but very welcome delight.
Listening to ROADHOUSE MANIFESTO it’s easy to accept the band’s claim that the music was road-tested in taverns and that anything that didn’t grip an audience was discarded. The beat of Get It would be rattling glasses at the back of any bar, this is not an album that fades into the background or is easily ignored. ROADHOUSE MANIFESTO demands and gets your attention. MM
Review of The Bonedrivers "Roadhouse Manifesto" from:
Santa Cruz Sentinel:

"Roadhouse Manifesto' is an apt title for this bluesy Southern rock-styled band based in San Francisco. The trio of frontman Keith Karloff (Gone Jackals), bassist Thomas Stokes (Deacon Jones Blues Band) and drummer Jim Nelson (Marshall Law Band) channel vintage Southern stomp and boogie through songs like 'Live to Ride' and 'Macon Bacon'.

Fri. June 19th - SPECIAL EVENT!! - The Bonedrivers @ LaSalle's in Chico !! - LaSalle's - 229 Broadway, Chico, CA (530) 893-1891 ** The Bonedrivers will provide an evening of boogie and woogie at Chico's Premier Night Spot on Friday June 19th! Music begins at 8:00! This will be one monster of a night, featuring three hours of the electrifying Rock-N-Blues of San Francisco's ubiquitous BDs!**

CHICO -- When the San Francisco based rock 'n' blues band The Bonedrivers hits LaSalles on Friday, it guarantees to bring down the house and lift the audience up out of its seats.

"Folks can expect rockin' bawdy dance music; intense boogies with deep grooves; lots of guitar playing; and drum solos. It's all good dancin', good drinkin' music," said band frontman, guitarist and singer Keith Karloff.

Since their formation in 2001 by Karloff (Gone Jackals) the Bonedrivers' trio -- Peter O'Malley (Stacy Adams Band) on bass and vocals; and Jim Nelson (Marshall Law) on drums -- have played three shows a week in intimate settings within a 250-mile radius of their bay area home base.

"I was considering a reassemble of Gone Jackals but decided to form something new and different to move forward. I was tired of the died-out black hair down to my waste, whips on stage and giant amps. I wanted to have a more blues-based band, something I could grow old gracefully with," Karloff said with a chuckle. "I wanted a band that could work easier, play out 100 shows a year and have fun with good music and not so much production."

At LaSalle's The Bonedrivers will cover many of the tunes from their debut CD, "Roadhouse Manifesto" (BlueBlack Records), including those which have become their "signature" pieces, such as "Who Burned My Building Down?" That number is reminiscent of the great Jimi Hendrix with the vocals of legendary bluesmen such as B.B. King and "Live to Ride" an anthem mixture of the Beatles, Beach Boys and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers with the unique country, blues and southern rock elements that characterize the Bonedrivers. The band will also be throwing in some new songs from its next CD.

"This isn't the San Francisco Orchestra. It isn't egg head music. We play for everybody, every where. Now that may be considered 'low brow' in some circles but we play music that can be appreciated immediately by anybody and we play our (expletive deleted) off," Karloff said.

Opening for The Bonedrivers is local rock and blues band, The Rockhounds, who Karloff said he's excited about sharing a venue with for the evening.
"I've heard they're good, very, very good, so I'm looking forward to their opening at about 8 p.m. We'll hit the stage at about 9 p.m. I expect and play until about 11 p.m.," Karloff said. "We're a very accessible band. We're not aloof; we're out in the crowd and easy to meet and hang out with so people can come and expect to have a really good time and not get their head blown off or snobbed off."

For a taste of what's in store at LaSalles with the Bonedrivers, visit the band's Web site at

-By KYRA GOTTESMAN, The Buzz, Posted: 06/18/2009 12:00:00 AM PDT

Germany's influential "Blooddawn" Magazine's review:

by Chris/Avenger

Expecting some punk rock or some dirty kind of noisy rock when looking at the cover, I was pretty surprised by the sound of THE BONEDRIVERS, a GONE JACKALS-related band. These guys call their style "roadhouse style rock-n-blues" and this CD should be seen as a preview of the upcoming full length album. And I can tell you - these three songs are cool as a dog's nose:

"Who Burned My Building Down" sounds like a southern rock/blues bastard with very DANZIG-like vocals and stimulates the muscles of your legs, if you want it or not.

To me, the second song "Live To Ride" crawls out of the speakers like a mixture of THE BEATLES, BEACH BOYS and TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS, with the characteristic BONEDRIVERS-trademarks of country, blues and southern rock elements.

The final song "Light Of The Morning Sun" is surprisingly similar to the LYNYRD SKYNYRD tunes. With its relaxed mood it gives you the illusion of sitting in an old american limousine, driving around on a highway alone... no one but you...

With a well known line-up - Keith Karloff (GONE JACKALS, g & v), Johnnie Colleton (AQUATIC GROOVE SESSION, g & v), Mike McCurdy (JIMMIE RODGERS BLUES BAND, b & v) and Randy Gzebb (LOVE CLUB, d) - the quartet knows very well how to create a club atmosphere with their strong american sound. Perfect for a beer or two... or more...

If the full length album has the same high-quality material and spreads the same authentic feeling then we see one of the most interesting and unique bands out of this genre. I want to keep a little space to the top of the points scale because i know they can top it. Very strong 4 out of 5 points for now

Italy's premier Rock Magazine "Slam" :

by Carlo "Hawk" Mazzoli

Keith Karloff, best known as the leader of the "Gone Jackals", has sent me a preview cd recorded with his new band,"The Bonedrivers". The band has been very active on the live music scene in California (expecially in San Francisco). Finally they've let us listen to these 3 rock/blues songs
before the release of the full length debut CD which will soon be available on "BlueBlack Records".

The main riff (R'n'R/bluesy) of "Who Burned My Building Down?" is reminiscent of the great Jimi Hendrix (the sound is pretty close) and the vocals of great bluesmen such as B.B. King (one 'tween many). This song is really beautiful, played with a great '70s style.

"Live To Ride" is a true biker hymn. It inspires freedom... you can almost feel wind the blowing through your hair and the wings on your back. A good country song, perfectly in character with Karloff's voice.

The last track of this advance cd, "Light Of the Morning Sun" begins with a slide intro which introduces an old fashioned R'n'R blues feel that never lets up. A really pleasing song.

This advance cd is surely promising, so I'm waiting for the definitive one. Certainly some more energic songs won't be out of place, considering that Karloff created a very good sound in 1995 with the "Gone Jackals" in their best cd "Bone to Pick".

Let's see what Keith & co. have coming next.

Feel free to check out the new Russian Bonedrivers site!
Use your translator to peruse this great new "Roadhouse Manifesto" review
from Italy's Kathodik Magazine.

CD's!  Upcoming Gigs   Band Bio   Keith Karloff   Reviews   Photos   Tunes   Live Videos   Links   Contact

Home page