Smart Bets: Elijah Hooker

Local rockers Elijah Hooker (vocalist Caleb Johnson, drummer Frank Skulski, Wade Wilson on bass, guitarist Josh Sawyer and Brian Turner on keys) claims that their "sole purpose is to spread the gospel of hard rock ‘n’ roll to the masses." Which, for a band, is a worthy purpose to have. The quintet is set to release a debut, self-titled 10-song album which launches with the amped up, "Sweet Emotion"-reminiscent "Happiest Man," churns and stomps through the adrenaline-fueled "Slaves of Freedom" and turns up the smoky Southern soul on "Black Mountain Fog." Elijah Hooker will play two album release shows: The first is at Emerald Lounge Friday, June 7 (9 p.m. with Brother Nomad and Space Truckers. $5. http://www.emeraldlounge.com) and the second is at The LAB on Saturday, June 8 (9:30 p.m. with Gutterhound and Twist of Fate. $5. http://lexavebrew.com). Read an album review at mountainx.com. Photo by Carrie Turner

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