In the News:
2012 Hosty Duo in OKC Gazette's "Best Band" contest gets 2nd Place.
2012 OKC Gazette "Best Singer/Songwriter" Hosty voted 2nd Place
2011 Hosty Duo on their way to selling over 100,000 albums, at some undefined point in the future.
2010 Hosty voted OKC Gazette's "Best Singer Songwriter".
Hosty Duo voted one of "Oklahoma's Best Bands 2010" by Oklahoma Magazine.
Hosty Duo voted "Best Band 2009" by Oklahoma Magazine.
Congrats to Stoney LaRue for making “Oklahoma Breakdown” writen by Hosty the Number One Song on the Texas Music Charts for April 2007 and for the entire year!
2006 Hosty Duo "Worth Mentioning" in Best Bands OKC, Gazette.
Hosty Duo Live in Tulsa, OK 2009
Hosty Duo at Lucy's Retired Surfer Bar in Austin, TX 2000
Hosty Duo play "James Brown" in Denver, CO 2002
"Out of Norman, Oklahoma, witty guitar guru Hosty and his side kick, two piece drummer, Michael "Tic Tac" Byars, entertain as the Hosty Duo with a tour schedule of 250 shows a year. Hosty simultaneously tears through gritty slide leads, blows harmonica and or Kazoo and uses foot pedals to stomp bass lines. His guitar collection includes an 8 string instrument that allows him to thump three bass strings with his thumb while he fingerpicks guitar. The Hosty Duo has developed a huge underground following of bikers, sorority gals, hippies and truckers."
Billy Block's Western Beat Monthly -May 2003 Edition
The Duo has been featured on the Jimmy Kimmel Show during their filming of the Okie Noodling Festival in Pauls Valley. Hosty was even featured on the Tonight Show Dumb ad section for his One Man Band Routine with an ad that said, “Mike Hosty Plays with Himself.”
The Hosty Duo's penchant for catchy songs and high-octane
live shows has given them the opportunity to open for many diverse
acts such as:
R.L.Burnside,The Dempsey's,Blues Traveler, G Love and Special
Sauce, Fiona Apple, Bob Schieder,Green Lemon
Dwayne Burnside,Amy MCue,Asleep
at the Wheel,Cedell Davis,T-Model
Williams III, The Why Store
Dick Dale, Marcia Ball, Popa Chubby, Leon
Russell,Deep Blue Something, Bo Diddley, Tenderloin,
Spin Doctors, Widespread Panic, Walter Wolfman Washington,
Juice, David Garza, Dr Hook,
Roger Cline and the Peacemakers,
Soulhat, The Hackensaw Boys,
Bardo Pond, Rubber Bullet, Little Sister,
Shaver,Cross Canadien Ragweed, Jason Boland
and the Stragglers, Wade
Jimmy Lafave, Sound Team,
the ChainSaw Kittens,Those Darn Accordians,Motet, Billy
Dirty Dozen Brass Band,Rev. Paytons Big Damn Band, Dave
Mason, Hairy Apes BMX, Hi Fi and The Roadburners,
The Red Elvis's,Wild Peach,Jesse Dayton, Road Kings, Fortune
Tellers, Joe Bonamassa,Papa Grows Funk,.38 Special
Jacob Fred Jazz Odessey and, of course, Quiet Riot oh yeah,
the 2005 Holiday Bowl in San Diego OU vs Oregon.
In addition, several songs from their CD catalog have
gotten airplay on local stations such
as KGOU in Norman, KRXO in
Oklahoma City and KRSC in Tulsa
even overseas in Macedonia, Spain, Belgium,
Brazil and the Netherlands.
The Hosty Duo has toured the United States from Norman Oklahoma up to
Mineaplois, MN down to Columbia, SC south the Houston and out West to Pheonix,
and up in the Rocky mountains of Colorado. From Coast to coast and up
and down the length of I-35 they have played. If you dangle shinney objects
in front of
them they might just show up and play for you too.
Texas Music Times Album Review June 2008
Michael Hosty - The Mousetrap Sessions
Part swing, part psyco-billy, part indie rock, part country, part R&B and 100% cool, The Mousetrap Sessions is a record for those looking for something different out of a scene that all to often delivers more of the same. Michael Hosty was made simi-famous because of his authorship of the song “Oklahoma Breakdown” that Stoney LaRue has successfully recorded and toured on. The Mousetrap Sessions is funny, groovy, strange and great. The record has a Jim Morrison feel to it and is so different from any other “Texas or Red Dirt” record that it really deserves a critical listen. The masses may not get it but music snobs and those after something different will understand Hosty perfectly. (KH)
The Current September 2008
The Mousetrap Sessions
The Mike Hosty Duo has dropped yet another amazing record on the thou- sands “Host-afarians” – The Mousetrap Sessions. From the opening guitar and drum romp of “Teenie Tiny Thing” to the fatherly fortes of “Eat Yer Mac and Cheese,” this album delivers as much wit as it does wisdom. There’s as much surprise on the new record as there is sustain. One thing that hasn’t changed is Hosty’s gift of gab and love for the panhandle state, which stick out on more catchy, hook-ridden tunes like “Watertower,” “Time to Go Home,” “Streets of Gold” and “Waiting.” Then again, what else would you expect from the band that brought you “Oklahoma Breakdown,” “Opium Whore” and “Bag of Wine?” “Pterodactyl,” a song co-writ- ten with Hosty’s son Liam, gets the Spanish-flavored treatment, complete with Santana-meets-Esteban classical gui- tar licks, as well as a reprise recorded “en Espanol.” Mike Byars continues to make fat pockets for the Duo throughout the album, though Hosty’s tambourine entwined ankles keep the beat on a few tracks. This album makes the perfect addi- tion to the Okie section of your music collection. Get yours when the Hosty Duo hits Max’s Garage in Muskogee Aug. 1, or the Grape Ranch Red Dirt Harvest Festival Aug. 2 in Okemah. For more information and to order online, check out www. hosty.com. Kazoos sold separately.
- Jeff Jeffries
The Current May 2007
Big Whiskey and Big Hosty
Even though his career is quickly approaching the 20 year mark, people just can’t seem to get enough of Mike Hosty. He’ll be live and direct at 10 p.m. on Friday, May 25, with Mike Byars when the Hosty Duo rips up the Big Whiskey Saloon.
Their setup is simple, but their individual abilities can quickly make this two-piece band sound like a band twice its size. Hosty mans the six & eight string electric guitars, kazoo, foot pedal bass, megaphone and vocals with uncanny precision while Byars (a.k.a. "Tic Tac") holds down one of fattest rhythm pockets in the business on a three-piece drum set.
Through a series of band breakups and mishaps, these two Mikes have survived the tests of time as a tandem outfit since 2000, and together they’ve opened can’s of musical whoop-ass from Minnesota to Texas and California to Carolina.
"They’ve been able to attract an underground following of bikers, sorority girls, hippies and truckers," as mentioned in Billy Block’s Western Beat Monthly, and to no surprise. The lighthearted lyrics are high in humor and packed with groovy punches from the middle school mantra of "I Make Love to Linda Cavanaugh," to the side splitting shinannigans of "Married Man." This huge dynamic musically and lyrically has put them on bills with folks like R.L. Burnside, G. Love & Special Sauce, Fiona Apple, Hank III, Leon Russell, The Chainsaw Kittens, The Red Elvises, and the list goes on for miles.
The Hosty Duo plays songs about Oklahoma with the Blues and Rockabilly swagger that lies deep in the heart of the panhandle state and its inhabitants. "Fraidy Hole" is a comical poke at something very real to we Okies – tornadoes – as excitedly described by weatherman Gary England. Oddly enough, The Duo rolls into Currentland right in the middle of Oklahoma’s coined "Fifth Season." Cherokee County – get in your Fraidy Hole!
They’ve still got it folks, and they’re bringing it to Tahlequah’s Big Whiskey Saloon, located at 407 North Muskogee in downtown Tahlequah. General admission is only $5, which does not include your own fried pie. For more information and to hear this great band for yourself, logon to www.hosty.com.
- Joe Mack
By: Ryan Daly • The Oklahoma Daily
Posted: Aug 21, 2006
Not your ordinary local musician
Sunday night the Deli was hot. Hot and crowded. Close to a hundred sweaty bodies squeezed onto the dance
floor in front of the stage, and the line for the bar was about thirty minutes long. It didn’t matter that classes
were the next day — students anxiously waited, beverages in hand, for one man: Mike Hosty. Fittingly, that
man was late.
When he did arrive, having come straight from Boulder, Colorado, in his white Ford van, Hosty seemed
visibly exhausted. As he set up his equipment—a confusing mess of pedal operated drums, ankle warmers
with jingle-bells sewn on, and his trusty Fender Stratocaster—he cracked jokes with audience members in
the front row, trying to keep the crowd subdued until he could begin his set.
Finally, he ripped into the first song of his two hour-long set, and it was easy to see why Hosty has become
a staple of the Norman music scene. The crowd sang along with the choruses of almost every song, while in
between each song he cracked jokes about everything from Native American casinos to the virtues of being
hung-over on the first day of classes.
“Just think,” he explained to the crowd. “The guy who gets a full night sleep and wakes up early for class,
that’s the best he’ll feel all day. Your day will improve as your hangover goes away.”
This kind of free-form comedy and music act is what the Norman crowd has come to expect from Mike
“When you come here on a Sunday night, you know exactly what you’re going to see,” one patron told me.
“It’s more or less the same show every week, but week after week, you come back because he’s that
After the show, as he sat nursing a beer, Hosty maintained that the Deli is still his favorite place to play.
“I’ve been playing at the Deli a long time,” he said. “This place holds so many
memories for me. The fans here are great too, they’ve made Sunday night sort of its own institution.”
Local fans seem to appreciate Hosty as much as he does them. During our interview, female emerged from
the crowd to plant a kiss squarely on Hosty’s cheek.
“We love you here,” she said. “I come back here Sunday nights, and I know that I’m coming to your show.”
“The Norman music scene is one of those things you really don’t appreciate until you leave,” Hosty said.
“You have such a high quality in both the music and the fans. The only thing that kind of sucks is that this
is one of those cities that people use as a springboard. They play here until it happens for them, and then
they just kind of leave.”
When asked if he had ambitions outside of Norman, Hosty shook his head.
“You know, I travel a lot,” he said. “A week ago I played a show with Blues Traveler. But I always make
sure that I’m back here on Sunday nights. These people—the fans here—they allow me to do something that
I love that will also support my family. If that road dead ends, I’ll turn around and drive back. Hopefully,
I’ll be here on Sunday nights until the end of time.”
Hosty Duo brings big sound to Lake Evergreen, CO
By Brian Muir
Hosty Duo, as the name implies, is a two-person band blessed with a sound suited for splendid spaces. Next week, Hosty Duo visits the vast vistas of Evergreen for the sixth installment of the Lake House summer concert series, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16.
Guitarist Mike Hosty has fronted a variety of groups when not repairing air-conditioners in sweltering Norman, Okla. Hosty’s current partner, drummer Mike Byars, joined him with the Silvatones, the Mopheads and the Mike Hosty Trio before the Hosty Duo was born in June 2000.
They’ve opened for numerous name acts including Widespread Panic, Dick Dale, Hank Williams III, Bo Diddley, BR5-49, Dr. Hook and Quiet Riot.
Hosty credits a certain backroom guitar guru among his mentors. “There are several people who influenced me playing the guitar,” Hosty recalls. “Among them was Jeff Freeman, a guitar guru in back of Driver Music in Edmond, Okla. Jeff looked like one of the guys in ZZ Top . ..either one, really, with a long red beard and a shaved head. My mom thought he looked like an ax murderer. Jeff taught me every ZZ Top, Stevie Ray, Fabulous T-Birds song I ever wanted to know, as well as a little blues guitar. I will forever be in the debt of Jeff Freeman.” Opening the evening for Hosty Duo, Mojomama takes the early stage at the Lake House at 6 p.m. Remember, parking is limited and shuttles are available from the RTD Park ‘n’ Ride lot near Christ the King Church on Highway 74. For more information, visit www.evergreenlakepresents.com or call 303-674-0532.
Publication Date: January 31, 2005
Crowd goes crazy for Hosty Duo
“It’s going to be one of those nights.” As soon as you hear your friend’s statement, you look around, shrug your
shoulders, think what the hell and say, “You bet your ass it will.”
Not much will drag a “been there, done that” 25-year-old bar star to the strip on a Friday night. A performance by
Hosty Duo, however, will make one reconsider.
Mike’s College Bar was hopping on Friday with the sounds of Hosty Duo. Mike Hosty, GuitOrgan, Bass-a-tar, kazoo
and vocals, and Mike “Tic-Tac” Byars, drums, have been rock-a-billying together for over 10 years. This Norman
band’s music has taken them all over the nation, from California to South Carolina.
It does not matter how many times you see this band, disappointment will never be a resulting feeling from a show.
You must see them live. In fact, hearing them on CD only just isn’t fair. The sound should be associated with
feelings of spontaneity; much like taking off on a road trip with no maps or making out with an attractive stranger.
When they start to play, your body moves in different ways to accommodate the energy that jogs through your
bones. Hosty Duo took stage. Maybe some anticipation was brewing from the audience. “Check one, check one two,”
Awesome, sound check. It was almost time. Right off, the audience was given instructions, which was comforting.
Interaction with the crowd is always a plus. After every song, you had to high-five your neighbor because, “No one
can refuse a high five,” Hosty reaffirmed.
It was almost like a dream. Everyone was happy; the variety of beers at Mike’s were going down easy for many,
making any social anxiety issue nonexistent. Ladies began to dance. Oh, and so did those wasted dudes who stole
chairs from our table to take to their table, which one of the guys would eventually find himself dancing upon.
People were high-fiving left and right, before songs, after songs and just because. If you weren’t paying attention
when one of your homies was initiating the high five, he or she would nudge the other and then it was “oh, how
stupid could I be, of course, the high five.” Walking into this atmosphere, a person who is not familiar with Hosty
Duo would wonder, “What exactly is this?” Because they know it’s something, they just can’t place it yet. Smart, they
would be called, for going in and checking it out, but they will find no cover music here.
“This was my first time to see the Hosty Duo,” said Taylor Donnell. “I’d heard a lot about them so I had high
expectations, and they met them.”
It seems the band’s collective inspirations, pre-70s music and ordinary, everyday events that Hosty described as
“things you love and make you crazy at the same time,” led them to build relationships with audiences and create
energy. It seems this energy is being channeled through the audience, making them feel a bond with the band.
Tic-Tac’s (who is supposedly a Sagittarius) favorite part about playing music is it takes his mind off of other things.
“I don’t have to worry about paying bills,” he said. Hosty compared his favorite part to “having a conversation with
100 people at the same time.”
“It’s [the music] multi-colored,” said Hosty. “It’s like throwing darts at balloons at the carnival. You’ll get something
different every time.”
Dash Dennis, art major, saw Hosty Duo for the first time Friday. “The Hosty Duo keeps it real with classic blues and
Objectivity is challenging with a band that rocks as much as this one. After asking around to fellow bar goers, “What
do you think of the band?” response after response was “They’re bad ass!” One thing is for sure, they need to add a
show in Stillwater. Once a month is not nearly enough. It would be interesting to hear someone’s reasoning for not
liking what Hosty Duo produces.
Especially “Country Boy,” I mean, who could not like that? It even makes fun of 3.2 beer. That is what is cool; they
seem to humor the fact they are from Oklahoma but in no way putting it down, just singing about the things that
happen here that wouldn’t happen, say, in Colorado. And “Oklahoma Breakdown,” fantastic! “I don’t want no one,
girl, if I can’t have you.” The lyrics are still in my head and will remain so, for I now own the CD.
They had a funny song about the weather people at Channel 4 chasing storms. It makes you smile and shake your
head and think, no other band could make this work. And then, the most fun dancing song ever. A song about Hosty
wanting to hook up with Linda Cavanaugh, co-anchor for KFOR Oklahoma City, but only in his mind. The lyrics are
hilarious and the music is talent-stricken.
“I’ve been all over, seen hundreds of bands, never seen a band with this much energy and there’s only two of them,”
said Mike Reeder, Mike’s patron. “Check ’em out; it’s a mind blower.”
You know, just one of those nights.
For more information on Hosty Duo, check out their Web site at www.hosty.com.
The Hosty Duo: Proving that Less Really Is More
By Russell Bartholomee
The Wreck Room in Fort Worth, Texas, is a typical smoky dive bar. There’s grime on every available surface, the bathroom door has no doorknob, and the four dollar well drinks are mighty watery. The walls are covered with poorly painted versions of album covers and scenes from crime movies: Scarface, Reservoir Dogs, and Jane’s Addiction’s debut all coexist under years of dirt and dim lighting. There’s also a good-sized stage at the back and a nice, loud PA. It’s utterly ordinary in most every respect.
On this particular Thursday night in September, however, the sound coming from the stage is anything but ordinary. The raw, raucous grooves from the band keep the moderate-sized crowd on their feet. The singer’s gritty-but-soulful voice is perfectly suited to the band’s unique blend of blues, rock, funk, country, and cowpunk. The sound is full and rich, drenched with densely textured slide guitar, thumping bass lines, the rock solid groove of a three-piece drum kit played with skill and taste, and what sounds at first like a saxophone but isn’t (more on that later). If a typical four-piece band was responsible for the masterful musicianship making the Wreck Room rock that night, they would be worthy of attention. But all that sound is actually coming from two guys, something that you literally have to see to believe.
The band making people’s jaws go slack is called the Hosty Duo. Hailing from Norman, Oklahoma, Mike Hosty and Michael Byars (who goes by the stage name Tic Tac III) have been on the road together for a decade as either a duo or a trio. Hosty even went solo for a few months when Tic Tac broke his leg. But it’s been just the two of them for the last five years, and having seen them live three times I can testify to the fact that if any other musicians tried to play with them they would just be in the way. They have independently produced several excellent and highly recommended recordings, but it’s one of those things that you really have to see to appreciate. While Tic Tac ably lays the rhythmic foundation behind his simple drum kit, Mike Hosty defies belief by singing, playing guitar, and playing bass—all at the same time. Watching him do this is dizzying. While playing incredibly complex guitar parts and singing (challenging enough for most musicians), Hosty plays the bass lines on a set of organ bass pedals with his right foot and works the wah and other effects pedals with his left foot. What’s more, he has a kazoo taped to the side of his microphone which he occasionally plays to add melodic texture to his songs that sounds for all the world like baritone saxophone. Not enough for you? When he’s bored with playing a six-string guitar, he plays slide on an 8-string custom creation he calls a bass-a-tar. It has 3 bass strings he plays with his thumb and five guitar strings he plies with his other four fingers. I can’t begin to imagine how he keeps it all straight in his head.
All this could add up to a parlor trick if it weren’t for the strength of the songwriting. Mike Hosty writes his own material, and his songs are completely entertaining. Hosty’s music embraces a wide range of influences, including the Meters, Junior Brown, Johnny Cash, Morphine, G. Love & Special Sauce, Dick Dale, the Roots, and Bo Diddley, to name but a few. The songs are always clever and often side-splittingly funny. “Married Man” (from Hosty Duo) is hilarious number which chronicles one self-deluded but faithful man’s resistance of almost certain temptation. “Applesauce” (from Golden Country Hits) is a tender love song to a woman with no teeth. And “I Will Work for Booty” (from Volume) probably doesn’t require explanation. But it does require repeated listening. Lots and lots of repeated listening. If you get the chance to see this band, do not waste it.
After a killer two-hour set at the Wreck Room, Mike Hosty and Tic Tac III were gracious enough to sit down with Being There to talk about playing live, making records, Meg White’s drumming, the fate of a van called ‘Old Blue,’ and how Discover has made their career possible.
Being There: That was a great set. I got tired just watching you. You guys have been working as a duo since 2000? On Volume, which was recorded in 1996, you’re billed as the Mike Hosty Trio, and it features the two of you and a Hammond B3 organ player named Chris Wiser. Whether as a trio or a duo, has it always been Hosty and Tic Tac?
Mike Hosty: Yeah. We actually played as a two-piece before that.
BT: As the Hosty Duo?
Tic Tac III: Just as Mike Hosty.
MH: And we’d play places, and people would say, “Hey, you need to have a bass player. No one’s ever going to hire a two-piece band.”
BT: No, there aren’t any of those.
TT3: Well, there really weren’t then.
BT: Not that you need it, but what was the rationale behind just not having a bass player?
TT3: I think it was number 13, as in bass players. We decided…
BT: Screw it.
TT3: Yeah. I think Hosty decided, like, “I’ve had it.” I’m going to play bass with my feet.
BT: Why do you think you went through so many bass players? Why didn’t they stick around?
MH: Well, half of them would be drunk as hell. And most of the songs require a very simple bass line. Honestly, I think they just got bored playing it. There’s nothing spectacular to it. And we’d just go through them like matchsticks.
BT: So they just weren’t interested after a while?
MH: They’d just call and say, “I, uh…don’t think I can make it.” But they were probably thinking, “I don’t want to sit there and play that song in E all night.”
BT: Was it intimidating to add bass lines to what you were already doing? I mean, your guitar playing is very textured and complex, and you’re singing on top of that. How did you manage to pull off adding bass lines played by your foot?
MH: Well, this one bass player quit, and we had a gig. Somebody mailed me some bass pedals from Denver. We set them up, and I looked at them and labeled them…A, B, C, D, E, F, G… And I just stood there and hit the root note of the chord with my right foot, you know, G…boom, boom, boom.
BT: You stood?
MH: Yeah, I used to stand up on one leg to play. And I think my hip gave out.
BT: That would be a lot of work.
MH: And I was balancing. I got to balance pretty damn good.
BT: When did you decide to sit down to play?
MH: I think it was when my leg gave out. One day I was like, “I can’t stand up.” Because I’d stand like this. [Stands up on his left leg and proceeds to tap the floor with his right leg.] And I’d play like that for…we were doing like, two-and-a-half hour shows. One leg got twice as big as the other one.
BT: It’s like you were turning into a fencer.
MH: Right. Exactly.
BT: You’ve been covering the bass part with your foot since 2000?
BT: I’ve seen you guys three times, and I’m constantly blown away by your dexterity. You’re singing or playing kazoo, playing guitar, your left foot is working the effects pedals, and your right is hitting the bass notes. How do you tell all your limbs what to do?
MH: I don’t know. I’ve switched them around a lot. I used to have the effects on the right because I was used to using the wah with my right foot. And I moved it to the left, really, because I could plug it into the wall easier. I had too many cables. It was easier. You’re actually supposed to play the bass pedals with your left foot, and then your right foot’s the volume. But I set it up how it works for me.
BT: How long have you been recording?
MH: I did an album in 1993 called Mike Hosty and the Silvertones. And then I had another different trio called Heater, and we did two albums. And then after that in 1996 was the Mike Hosty Trio Volume. So it depends on what you mean. But we’ve done several since then as well.
BT: And all those since ’96 have been with Tic Tac?
MH: Except for the one I did solo in Denver, yeah.
BT: So that’s just Hosty? [To Tic Tac] You had broken your hip?
TT3: My femur. Hosty had previously played drums with his feet on Sunday nights for several years. When I broke my femur, I just called the bars and asked everybody if it was OK if he came and played drums with his feet, and they said, “Of course.” So he played three months worth of shows, and he came home with some recordings. And we were in Phoenix, and this friend of ours from Roger Kline and the Peacemakers had a studio. And I was like, “Let’s see if we can polish this recording up.” So we put it in this old 50s mastering machine and polished it up. It’s a great record.
BT: The song “Chewbacca” is on that, right?
BT: Is there any relation between your song and the “Chewbacca” that appears on the Clerks soundtrack?
TT3: We knew nothing about it until we started playing ours.
BT: You do a lot of ad lib with your songs. I’ve seen you do “Chewbacca” before, but tonight you did an impression of Chewy singing Celine Dion. Which made my head hurt, I laughed so much. How did that song come into being?
MH: We had a bunch of one-word songs, where we’d go, “Duh, duh, duh, duh, doo…Flamingo! Duh, duh, doo…Zebra!” You know, 30 or 40 of these…all these songs with one word, and it surprised me that people would come up and say, “Man, I love that Zebra song! The lyrics….just great!” And it was all basically all the same song. ‘Flamingo,’ ‘Zebra,’ this and that…’El Niño’ was another one.
BT: So it was the Mike Hosty version of “Tequila.”
MH: Right, right. And it was the same music essentially, but we’d just change the word. People would shout, “Oh, play… ‘Flamingo’ now!” Well, ok. And a lot of those songs were a necessity because we’d be playing these gigs from 9:00 to 1:30, you know. And they’d tell us, “You can take two fifteen-minute breaks and get up there!” And one night it was just, “Chewbacca!...Ch-ch-ch-Chewy!...Whobacca?” And that one stuck.
BT: A lot of your songs have a great sense of humor. But you also have songs that are more serious, that deal with deeper themes and emotions. How do you find the balance between entertaining people with a good joke and reaching more universal human emotions?
TT3: The comedy comes from playing on the road and just keeping himself amused all day. The serious stuff comes from the more typical things that you write songs about, like relationships or whatever.
BT: So for the three months that you had to play shows without Tic Tac, you covered the drums with your feet. Where did the drums go? I’m having trouble picturing it. Where did they go in your set up, since you have the bass pedals and the guitar pedals keeping both your feet busy?
MH: Essentially the same place they are now. High-hat’s on the left, and I tilted the snare back and played it with my feet, with stick on a foot pedal. And the kick drum was on the right.
BT: And how did you play the bass pedal at the same time?
MH: Oh, I didn’t play the bass pedal when I had to play drums. It was just guitar and drums.
MH: But I was playing the 8-string guitar, which has three bass strings on it. There’s five guitar strings and three bass strings on it. So I really did have bass.
BT: That instrument is called the bass-a-tar?
BT: The only other person I’ve ever heard of who played an 8-string guitar was Charlie Hunter. Did his guitar have anything to do with yours?
MH: I’d seen an article about him in Guitar Player, but there was no picture of the guitar. But a friend of mine introduced me to a guy who was making guitars, and I asked him if he could make an 8-string guitar. He carved the whole thing. Just kind of guessed what it should look like. And that was in ’97 when he made that for me. So I had that, and then I started using a slide on it in 2001. And I actually met Charlie Hunter and said, “Mr. Hunter. I’m a big fan, and I ripped off your idea about the 8-string guitar.” And he said, “As long as you’re not playing jazz.” And I said, “Mr. Hunter, what I do is the furthest thing from jazz.” And he said, “Great!” and took a picture with me eating a Caesar salad.
BT: You guys are based in Norman, Oklahoma, and you’re frequently in Texas. But you’ve played all over the country: San Diego, Denver, Minneapolis, South Carolina. What reaction do you get from audiences when you get out of this neck of the woods?
MH: People really like it. They eat it up. They like what we’re doing, but they think we have a terrible accent.
TT3: In Minneapolis, someone asked me if we rode in on a spaceship.
BT: Had they been drinking?
MH & TT3 in unison: Yes.
BT: That’s usually a safe bet. The live versions of your songs are pretty similar in overall sound to the recordings. When you record, how much—if at all—do you overdub?
MH: Not too much. It’s pretty much just laid down guitar, bass and drums. We might go back in and add something weird on top.
BT: So you record with the guitar and bass pedal at the same time?
MH: Well for the last record I used the bass-a-tar, so it was all live. I think I might have recorded a couple of bass lines separately, but only because the guy [at the recording studio] was trying to get more time out of us.
BT: Have you guys paid off Discover yet?
BT: Weren’t your first three records charged…
MH: Everything’s been sponsored by Discover.
BT: God bless the Discover Corporation.
MH: Sears. The Novus Network.
BT: You can get power tools, a vacuum cleaner, and a Hosty Duo CD…
MH: …at Sears.
BT: Your records are all self-produced?
BT: So you’re completely independent. How can people get their hands on your music? I know some of it is available at CD Baby and Amazon.v
MH: Yeah, and at Orchard. And of course our web site. Other than that, it’s the cardboard box.
BT: Do you guys still have day jobs, or is this it?
MH: I teach guitar lessons in the daytime in Norman.
TT3: And he only teaches one day a week. He’s doing that to pay for our new van because our old van has 348,000 miles.
BT: ‘Old Blue’ is gone?
MH: ‘Old Blue’ is still in my driveway, and I just don’t have the heart to get rid of it. What the hell am I going to do with ‘Old Blue?’
BT: So what’s the new van’s name?
TT3: It doesn’t have enough miles on it to have warranted a name. ‘Old Blue’ was white with blue interior, and this new one is white with grey interior. So I’m assuming when it gets enough miles on it we’ll call it ‘Old Grey.’
BT: ‘Old Blue’ and ‘Old Grey’…Sounds like the making of a whole new Civil War.
MH: It is.
BT: You siding with the North or the South? I have to ask.
TT3: I think we’ll side with the North and free the slaves.
BT: Good answer. That was a test, and you passed. You’ve opened for R. L. Burnside, G. Love & Special Sauce, Hank Williams III, and even Quiet Riot. R.L. Burnside just died recently, which is a huge loss to American music. How did you guys get to meet and play with him?
MH: A guy from Norman was working on a documentary about all the Fat Possum guys.
TT3: Actually, I talked him into doing the documentary. We donated $500 to him to buy film.
BT: What was the filmmaker’s name?
TT3: Brad Beasley. He just did the Flaming Lips film. And basically R.L. was on tour, and a promoter friend of mine called to say he had an open date. I said, “Tell him to come to Oklahoma City, and I’ll set it up.” We set it up and opened for him.
MH: He asked us to play a song with him, and he looked at me and said, “Start something out.” So I stood there for a second and finally started something. And he rapped. It was surreal.
BT: Was it the Ass Pocket of Whiskey era or after?
MH: It was right after.
BT: Wow. You got to play with an absolute legend.
TT3: One of the greats.
MH: And then we stayed up all night, sat at the table with him. We’d try to ask him something, and he’d just want to tell jokes and drink whiskey. We just sat there and listened to him.
BT: Who else have you played with that was a musical hero of yours.
MH: We played with Bo Diddley. I wanted to meet him. I was standing there wanting him to sign my guitar, and I finally got to meet him, and he said, “Get the hell out of the way so my wife can get on the elevator!” I was like, “Yes, Mr. Diddley.”
BT: Was that it?
MH: No, he signed the guitar. We got to play with Dick Dale. T. Model Ford. BR5-49.
TT3: We played with them a couple of times.
BT: Those guys are great. Probably the most successful current two-piece is the White Stripes. I want to ask you, Tic Tac: Rate Meg White as a drummer.
TT3: I personally think Jack White plays drums on all those recordings. Intellectually it just makes more sense after seeing her play.
BT: Not a fan of her playing?
TT3: Well… she’s cool, you know. But I think those are all his ideas. And I think he records them and she just plays on the road. Can’t prove it.
BT: Jack gets most of the attention, and seems to deserve it. Hosty’s the songwriter, and his dexterity is impressive. But you’ve got serious chops, Tic Tac. And you’re playing the hell out of a three-piece kit. When you hear the people who pass for drummers who play huge drum kits or bash away at simpler kits and have no technique, does it just piss you off?
TT3: I used to analyze it in my mind. But I don’t really think about it anymore. But I’m really into the less is more aesthetic.
BT: Hence, no bass player.
BT: On the Hosty Duo record, you do have some other instruments, though. The first track, “Crying Won’t Help You,” has a Latin flavor to it.
TT3: That’s actually a timbale player and a conga player who are friends of mine from a Latin band. I didn’t even play on that one. For me, Latin music sounds wrong on a drum set. It needs to be three drummers.
BT: Do you play that song live?
TT3: Not really. We may have tried it once, but it really needs the Latin percussion.
BT: How did the whole kazoo thing get started?
MH: I played kazoo in Heater. I was going through the music shop and bought a kazoo and started playing it. It occurred to me to tape it to the microphone, turn on the reverb all the way and start playing it. And I remember we opened up for….shit, Spin Doctors or somebody like that.
BT: Have you really played with the Spin Doctors? I’m sorry.
MH: Yeah. A long time ago. At this outdoor Fun Fair, face-painting kind of thing.
BT: Was this when they were big?
MH: “Little Miss…”
TT3: It was right after “Two Princes.” He had just shaved his head.
MH: So we opened for them, and I played the kazoo. And this guy came up and said, “You guys were good. But that’s gotta be the worst saxophone player I ever heard in my life.”
BT: Had he not been actually watching?
MH: No. He couldn’t see us.
BT: You use it on several of your songs. One of my all-time favorite Hosty Duo songs is “Married Man,” which features the kazoo pretty prominently. And it sounds a lot like a sax. The whole tune has a sort of Morphine groove to it. Was that on purpose?
TT3: No, we’re just guilty of listening to too much Morphine. I love Morphine.
MH: Yeah, I likes the Morphine. I was playing slide on those bass strings, and when you do that low slide thing, you’re going to sound like Morphine.
BT: Are they a big influence on your sound? And who are your major influences?
MH: There’s too many influences to name. I go to write a song and all those musical influences are just in there and come out. One day it’s Morphine and the next it’s G. Love or R.L. Burnside, or maybe I’ll be listening to Louis Armstrong and start singing in a raspy voice.
TT3: I’m always thinking about Earl Hardman. ?uestlove from Roots. J.J Johnson from Austin. Steve Jordan. I love those four guys. Earl Hardman changed my life.
BT: What’s the scene like in Norman, Oklahoma?
TT3: It’s thriving right now. At this point, there’s more original bands than ever before. It’s a large college town, and there’s just a lot of great stuff
BT: Who should our readers be listening to?
TT3: The Burtschi Brothers. Forty Minutes of Hell. Student Film. Cheyenne. Starlight Mints. The Ills, which is an organic drum ‘n’ bass band.
BT: And what about you guys? Any major label deals in the works?
TT3: It’s never been a priority. We’d consider it if everything looked right. But honestly, we’re really happy now doing what we do. I wouldn’t trade what I have for anything. Isn’t this enough?
BT: There’s a sometimes selfish motivation among listeners to want to be the only fan of a band. That whole, “I can’t listen to them now because they’re too big.” But if Interscope showed up and said, “Sign here,” would you? Would you turn it down?
MH: No. It would have to be something we wanted to do. I mean, I don’t want to roll around in a van all the time to make money for someone else. Play some portable building in Youngstown, Ohio. And then after that you go to Canton.
TT3: “The first couple of gigs are gonna be rough, but it’s going to open a lot of doors for you guys…
MH: If you’re doing what you want to do, you might as well do it the way you want to do it.
BT: How long could you guys reasonably maintain what you currently do?
TT3: Until I can’t physically climb up those three steps, I will play.
MH: Hell, I sit down, so I don’t have to worry about it.
BT: If you could continue to cover the basic necessities of shelter, water, and food, would you keep doing it.
TT3: Yeah. I don’t have anything else.
MH: What else would we do? I thought of—when he broke his leg, I though I might have to go get a job. I’ll get a resume together and go get a job. I thought about it, and I could see the guy sitting behind the table saying, “Alright, Mr. Hosty, let’s look at your resume. It says here that you cleaned swimming pools back in 1991. That’s over 12 years ago. And since then you’ve played in a band.” Yes sir!
TT3: “Can you run a register, Mr. Hosty?”
MH: No. And it just reaches a point to where it’s just…well, this is what you do for a living.
BT: Besides the guitar lessons, when was the last time you had to darken the door of an establishment that paid by the hour?
TT3: 1995, maybe ’96. I think I mowed some lawns after that. Just because it made me feel better to be outside.
BT: That’s great.
TT3: I feel we’re as lucky as we can get. If you asked me if I want more, I just wonder, “Is there more?”
MH: Eventually if you sell enough records, you get it distributed; you have something on the iTunes…That’s the way things are going anyway. Digital distribution.
BT: Is the brick and mortar record store a thing of the past?
MH: No, but it’ll be different. It’ll be on demand. Everything will be on demand. How you want it, where you want it. You’ll have a hard drive under your TV, piping in a subscription for however much music or movies you want. It’ll be a giant cable package. They’ll integrate it all together somehow. Your television will be the central port of your house. Whatever artist you want, you’ll dial it in and you’ll get it.
TT3: You won’t have to leave your house. You can already buy groceries and other supplies that way.
MH: And the people who like your stuff will find you there, on Internet groups and things like that. And they’ll support you there.
BT: How important is the Internet to what you guys do?
TT3: Very important. We get regular, consistent support through the web.
MH: If we had a record deal and sold a record in a store, we’d get about ten cents for each sale, and the store would get half the purchase price. When we sell a record off the stage or online for $10, we get $10.
BT: Does it bug you when people burn a copy of your music to give it to a friend? Do you feel ripped off when that happens?
TT3: That doesn’t bother me because I feel like they’ll come to a show, and maybe bring a friend. And maybe we’ll sell them a CD.
MH: And if they really do like you, they’ll support you somehow. They’ll buy a T-shirt. I don’t mind anybody burning a CD. It’s like making a tape. And if they like you, they’ll support you. I hope.
BT: When you guys leave Oklahoma, with gas prices what they are, do you break even on the road?
MH: The mileage of ‘Old Blue’ was so bad that even with gas prices up where they are, we pay about the same in the new van. Just because the mileage is so much better.
TT3: And we play a lot of shows at home that pay real well, which allows us to come here and make less. And then we do enough in merch to pay for gas. So it works out.
BT: Are you headed back to Oklahoma tonight?
TT3: I am.
MH: I hope I am, too, since we came together.
TT3: I’m driving the van; he’s hitching.
MH: [In a grizzled drifter voice]: Drop me off at a truck stop. I’ll work my way home.
For more information about the Hosty Duo, to buy albums, or to get tour dates, go to www.hosty.com.
Hosty Duo are freakin' awesome
February 19, 2004
by Jedd Beaudoin
most refreshing thing about the Hosty Duo's set Saturday night
at John Barleycorn's was not the fine musicianship of Mike Hosty
and drummer Tic-Tac III a.k.a. Tic-Tac (born Mike Byars with
impeccable Swiss timing), or the long line of songs so fine that
they should be bottled and stacked in a cellar somewhere but,
plainly, simply, how good it was.
Hosty's fine, fine guitar lines are one part Roy Buchanan, one part Lowell George (Little Feat) with a sprinkle of Waylon Jennings sprinkled here and there for an extra dash of flavor. He also proved, during heartfelt versions of songs such as "Johnny Cash," that
although he can blaze brave new trails with pick, fingers and ax, his main musical
concern is adding rich melodic textures that enhance the song not just bits that
will senselessly thrust solos into the spotlight and blow the whole damn machine
It's also refreshing to hear a lyricist who can write songs about those on the fringe without blistering irony, such as the protagonist in "Applesauce," whose toothless gal will make you sing, or the loser in love who meets his love in a "Truck Stop Shower Stall" and almost convinces you that it was a good time, despite losing everything. Not that Hosty doesn't have his edges, which he proved on "I Will Work For Booty" and "Fraidy Hole." (The
latter, a delicious paean to tornado bait, could conceivably become a seasonal
hit in these parts. Or not.)
Hosty writes the kind of songs that should be on the radio, the kind of songs that can be passed from one generation to the next, songs that are timeless, universal. Sure, there's always the hope that the duo will burst forth from their home in Norman, Okla. and burn up the FM dial. But if that doesn't happen, if Hosty and Byars continue to play primarily twixt OKC and the ICT, we'll at least be able to share in the wealth of their talents.
Here's to the return of the Hosty Duo.
How Can 1,000,000 (approx.) Hosty Duo Fans Be Wrong?..... Load Magazine
I got the chance to interview the Hosty Duo, I was admittedly
excited. They just might be the only local band for which I have
every piece of merchandise that they have ever sold out of their "blue box" and
I also have a tireless collection of relics from Hosty Trio days
gone by. So, yeah. I'm a huge fan.
My initial thought would be that Hosty would be the talker and it would be something like an old campfire story in which he would spin wild tales about getting busted for pot, catfish that could speak and his unrequited love for local television personalities. Not so. To my surprise, Mike Hosty was reserved, down to earth and a little shy. The generally stoic drummer Mike Byars (a.k.a. Tic-Tac the Third) was the one who was really chatty.
But that's just another twist in the wild world of the Hosty Duo, a true Oklahoma treasure/legend if there ever was one. I'm a huge fan and.well, you should be, too.
LOUD: Let's start with the trio. How and when did the trio form?
HOSTY: Well, let's see. Let's go back. We really started playing late '96 in the winter time.
BYARS: Did we?
HOSTY: Yeah. Before then, me and Mike had been playing as a two piece and we had a bass player. Alex Mackey played with us for a while. And before then, we had.
BYARS: A rotating circle.
HOSTY: A rotating circle.
BYARS: It was kind of a side project to us 'cause Mike was in Heater. So, basically, the trio happened by accident.
And "Volume" was the first CD the Hosty Trio did?
HOSTY: And that was already done.
LOUD: Because I noticed that when I looked at the individual credits, it's a lot of different people other than the regular trio.
BYARS: Basically, all of those drum tracks were just recorded originally as ideas and the songs were done later on during the recording process, which was definitely stretched out over a long period of time.
LOUD: And that was done in Trent Bell's bedroom?
HOSTY: That was in the barn. No, wait. That was in the bedroom. The rest we did in the barn.
LOUD: The trio did quite a few albums in a short amount of time and the thing that is so surprising is just how great they all are. Did you come into it with a lot of songs already written?
BYARS: We were just playing every night and everything evolved really fast and we were making, you know, more than an average amount of money. So we had the money to print records so Hosty invested all of it, basically, on his credit card. He still bears the debt to this day.
HOSTY: I still owe Discover.
BYARS: So those records are cool and they've made a lot of money, but they're still not paid off.
LOUD: So Chris went off and formed his own band. So, how long has it been just the duo?
HOSTY: Well, we basically started out that way and then we had a bunch of people come in . Just kinda plugged people in. So, when was the first time we did it?
BYARS: About '94.
HOSTY: '94 was the first time we did it.
BYARS: But the duo started when the organ left the band.
LOUD: But it wasn't a major adjustment because you had done it before.
Well, I had to learn to play bass with my feet, which was kind
of a weird deal. But, oddly enough, we found a pair of bass pedals.
A friend of ours in Denver, Colorado, found them and mailed them
down here and, within three weeks, we had foot bass. The next
week I went out and played the thing. I didn't even know how
to play it. I just got up there and said, "That must be C."
BYARS: And I think Mike playing drums with his feet helped kind of kick start it. He already had some coordination with his feet and knew what to do. When Chris joined, he had never played foot bass and we had to talk him through it. So, it's a band that's meant to have foot bass.
LOUD: So, your guitar. What do you call it, the bassitar?
HOSTY: The bassitar. The ridiculous guitar.
LOUD: Yeah, let's talk about that.
HOSTY: When we started, we had no bass whatsoever. So it was always, you know, we're not going to have any bass.
BYARS: We were really into blues without bass.
BYARS: Just a guitar and drums.a real nasty, raw sound.
So we did that. Just the guitar and the bass would be the kick
drum. And I had an old guitar and I routed it out one day and
put a bass pickup in it. Actually, I just made my own with a
Fender Stratocaster and I met this guy Justin Green who made
that guitar. He patterned it after Charlie Hunter's eight-string.
And I think it was the first or second guitar he ever made. I
got that in '97. And then we got bass and I just kind of put
it away for a long time. And then, when I started playing with
my feet, I said: "Let's whip that thing out again."
BYARS: So, yeah, the custom guitar maker was like 19 when he made that. He lives out in Midwest City. It has three bass strings and five guitar strings and Mike plays it with an open tuning.
I told Charlie Hunter that I ripped off his guitar and he told
me: "Just as long as you're not playing jazz." And I said: "What
we do is the furthest thing from jazz."
LOUD: Who are your influences?
BYARS: It's such a wide spectrum. I guess everything if it's good. No matter what genre it is.
We're into combining different kinds of styles. And we played
with the Reverb Brothers [before] and it was kind of a blues
band, too. And then kind of infusing the same things like the
Heaters was the Meters-meets-Dick Dale-meets Black Sabbath. And
this was just like Mike playing R&B stuff and I playing some
blues and me coming up with a formula.kind of those one beat
Stax recordings. Just one chord songs. No one would stick around
long enough for me to teach them these intricate songs, so I
just have this formula and I stayed with the Heater record and
then the trio records and then each one just uses that template.
LOUD: The newest ones on the country record sound as if they are using a slack-key kind of sound or Hawaiian sound. That's way different.
Well, then I go: "Well, I guess I'll try something different
BYARS: Basically those are songs he did by himself. Just home recordings.
HOSTY: In my bedroom.
LOUD: I hear you've been going to Trent's. Are you working on something now?
HOSTY: Yeah. We started when Mike broke his hip and we recorded some Latin songs there.
LOUD: You're songwriting is very interesting. Are they just stories you come up with?
Some of them are stories and then you just stand out in between
the telephone towers and you'll be hit by lightening and you'll
shake and then you'll say "Gee," and then you'll write a song.
BYARS: Basically, he's a writer.
LOUD: Did you do that at Bishop McGuiness or at St. Gregory's?
HOSTY: I got kicked out of St. Greg's.
LOUD: For setting the dorms on fire?
HOSTY: That's what they claimed.
BYARS: Hosty is also known for writing bizarre letters and posting them up all over campus.
HOSTY: Communist party meetings.
LOUD: You stay pretty busy and play all the time. Do you still give lessons during the day?
HOSTY: Nope. I did, but I stopped about '96 or '97 and we haven't done anything but play music since.
LOUD: I have a friend that said that the last lesson you taught him was never pay to play.
HOSTY: My teaching method was far more philosophy than it was instruction.
LOUD: So, when did you break your hip?
BYARS: I broke my femur Christmas of 2000.
LOUD: Did that cause Hosty to have to adapt rather quickly or.?
BYARS: Well, he had already been playing Sundays at the Deli with a bass and snare on his foot for three or four years. So, basically, all the dates that were booked, Hosty played by himself.
LOUD: I heard that you split the money with Mike.
LOUD: That's very noble.
HOSTY: He's the only one that's ever stuck by me, so .
BYARS: I knew he gave me money but I didn't know that's what he did.
LOUD: How did you come up with the name Tic-Tac?
BYARS: It's a really stupid joke is what it is. I thought it would be fun to have a fake name on every record. We were playing a show at the Boar's Head and it was really busy and people called me Tic-Tac all night and, when I went out into the parking lot to load the van, people were screaming Tic-Tac out in the parking lot. And it stuck. It's like a tattoo.
LOUD: You seem very pro-Oklahoma.
HOSTY: I love Oklahoma. Texas seems so proud of their state. But if I go down to Texas, I'd rather be in Oklahoma.
BYARS: It's a nice place. I've lived in Austin, Texas, and I've been to a lot of cities. There are other cities I like but [Oklahoma] it's home. Where I live, everything I need is within 600 yards. It's all mellow. It's all laid back.
LOUD: Are you two looking to get some kind of a record deal or are you happy where you are?
BYARS: I would cut my bad leg off for a record deal.
LOUD: How far off have you traveled and played?
HOSTY: We've gone as far west as San Diego, as far east as Charleston, South Carolina, and as far north as Minneapolis. All in Old Blue right there (pointing to the group's traveling van).
BYARS: It has 296,000 miles on it.
HOSTY: The Ford Econoline. It's made many a fortune and broke many a hearts. It's caused a lot of consternation and a lot of joy.
About the Hosty Duo....... Billy Block's Western Beat Monthly
"Out of Norman, Oklahoma, witty guitar guru Hosty and his side kick, two piece drummer, Michael "Tic Tac" Byars,
entertain as the Hosty Duo with a tour schedule of 250 shows
a year. Hosty simultaneously tears through gritty slide leads,
blows harmonica and or Kazoo and uses foot pedals to stomp bass
lines. His guitar collection includes an 8 string instrument
that allows him to thump three bass strings with his thumb while
he fingerpicks guitar. The Hosty Duo has developed a huge underground
following of bikers, sorority gals, hippies and truckers."
Billy Block's Western Beat Monthly -May 2003 Edition
Hosty Duo: Golden Country Hits.... Loud Magazine
the title, which seems ripped from Ween's "12 Golden Country Greats," there
is little else to this release that is unoriginal.
purging himself with the sprawling " Un Hombre Malo," (a career best) and "live in Denver," an
album that shows what Hosty can do as a One man Band when left
to his own creativity, mike Hosty and trusty companion Mike Byars
(aka Tic Tac) are back on this release, their most adventurous
"Golden county Hits" eschews the regular blues that Hosty usually favors for a pan-American overview that is similar to Ry Cooder's "paradise and Lunch" and "chicken
Hosty skillfully hits spaghetti western theme music, hillbilly rock, country rock, acoustic blues, spoken word folk, Tex Mex, Hawaiian and traditional blues. In all of these songs, Hosty proves why he is not only of OKC's finest musicians, but songwriters, too. The Hosty Duo is one of those outfits that need to be supported at every turn. Here is a good place to start.
Patrick Crain Loud Magazine June 4, 2003
Right On: In Times of Trouble, there's nothing Quite like the Hosty Duo ...... Loud Magazine
If, around 1972, Little Feat's late, great resident guitarist would have decided to fire Roy Estrada and Bill Payne and kept going with only drummer Richard Hayward, they probably would have sounded like the Hosty Duo.
A wild blend of blues, country, rock, Dixieland, gospel and Rock-a-Billy, guitarist Mike Hosty and Drummer extraordinaire Mike Byars (aka Tic Tac) prove nothing short of Oklahoma originals.
Despite the fact that Hosty is probably one of Oklahoma's finest guitarist, the comparisons to Lowell George don't stop at his instrument of choice, however, Hosty also maintains a surreal songwriting style that can fluctuate between a tale of a Cleveland County Drug bust and a heart felt ballad without sounding smug or sappy on either.
In a way, Hosty also resembles Dan Hicks, what with his droll, wry stage delivery and all. From his comparisons of his set list to the Kama Sutra to his lamentations on the demise of moonshine stills for meth labs, Hosty is that type of artist who could be doing double duty with a newspaper column. Of course he he's probably happy right where he is, as his day job and his web site give him plenty of material, time, space to experience and write about anything and everything he pleasures.
Of course the Hosty Duo would be nothing ( well not nothing, just Hosty) without Mike Byars who makes economical drumming look so easy. With his locomotive like momentum he makes Hosty's Slide guitar and path bass plucking (played on a wicked bass/guitar hybrid) rock like hell.
Hosty also showed that he and only one other person could brilliantly pull off a strong, creative authority. If they can do it at all, it takes other blues rock bands four or five people to get it right.
If goes without saying that only a person with a true heart of stone could dislike a band that plays kazoo and a washboard, performs weird o trucker anthems and odes to the impure thoughts of Linda Cavanaugh. Since they can be found playing almost every weekend, it shouldn't be a task for one to find some time to kick back and relax with the Hosty duo. Go for a CD, shirt or hi-larious road tale, check out www.hosty.com and then go to a venue near you. Go get swallowed up in their Glorious, country blues rock soaked strangeness. Mike and tic Tac the Third will love you for it.
Patrick Crain Loud Magazine March 5, 2003
Drum Picks Album Review: Hosty: Live in Denver.. Drum Magazine
This is the easy part. Like a hungrier, crustier George Thorogood,
Hosty plays lovingly raw blues that showcases greasy slide guitar
at its centerpiece. Now here comes the tough part – Hosty is the one man band alter ego of Michael Hosty from Norman, Oklahoma, who writes in his cryptic correspondence that he had no alternative but to tour as a One man Band: "My
drummer broke his Leg and I had no choice."
One can understand why a drummer might resort to faking a fracture
to leave a band that requires little more than the "boom-chucka-boom" all
night long. But in the context of hosty, such a hardscrabble
drumming is a masterpiece of invention. You forgive and even
adore when the bass and snare slur the tempo. After all, Hosty
covers those parts with his feet while playing the bass and guitar
with his hands and soloing on the harmonica with his mouth. WOW.
Verdict: in the most sweaty, beer drenched, wacky sense, this CD Rocks
Drum Magazine September 2002
Album Review: Un Hombre Malo Mike Hosty ... Nightflying
titled " Mike Hosty Anthology" this covers a collection of Hosty Originals from 1996 to 2000. I reviewed an album of his years ago. Un hombre Malo means a "bad man".
Mike Hosty rocks on, writing and playing songs mellow to madcap,
getting down right jazzy at time.
NightFlying Arkansas Summertime 2001
Album Review: Live in Denver Mike Hosty.... Nightflying
Hosty is here again and once again he has changed and metamorphosed and transfigured into something new: this time it is a One Man Band. This is a recording that got made by sheer dint of luck and a bit of chutzpah and it happens to be probably his best album since his first. Mike Hosty has been around for a while now and he is not afraid to try new tricks, or for that matter old tricks in new forms. One of his cuts on the cd is closer to rap than to a song and nobody shot him or anything so it must have gone over with the folks at Herman's Hideaway, which is where he played the gig that is preserved on this record. I need to add that one of those songs was recorded at Sticky Fingers, which is in little rock, not Denver Colorado.
NightFlying Arkansas July 2002
Rockn' Red Dirt hosty Live in Denver...... Urban Tulsa Magazine
Solo performers in small venues are known to do strange things. Some will employ an electronic backing band on a sampler while they sit and play guitar. Others might attempt to play two instruments at once. But Norman OK's Mike Hosty must be one of the most inventive. While his drummer was recuperating from a broken femur, Hosty traveled the southwest playing solo gigs, performing on guitar with additional bass strings, pound a drum with his feet and using his mouth to sing and play the kazoo. The result was truly an unusual live album, Hosty Live in Denver.
No doubt that it takes coordination and natural rhythm for a musician to tackle a drumbeat, a bass line and a guitar fills at once. But it takes raw feel for the blues to come up with a gritty, red dirt sound like Hosty's.
by thick slide riffs and thumpy rhythms, Live in Denver is a
sweaty, tooth and nail hike through the woods of roots music.
Hosty's gruff vocals accent the dementia of Dark Country Tales
like " the Devil sent me you " and " Dead and Gone ." The most interesting moment is a stream of conscious cover of "She Said",
in which Hosty rambles with gusty musical vigor.
After hearing this record, one can't help but picture this devoted picker perched in a dimly lit Denver bar, guitar/bass in grasp, drum at foot and kazoo in to mouth. It must have been a heck of a show
Joseph Felzke Urban Tulsa Magazine September 2002
Hosty Takeover: Oklahoma's Hosty Duo is funny and fit for Public Consumption. Phoenix New Times
The Hosty Duo may be the only band to have an album inspired by Charles Bronson.
Eric Waggoner Phoenix New Times October 17, 2001
Duo and Roger Clyne/Peacemakers at VZD's...... Norman Transcript
Hosty Duo's (HD) Mike Byars comes by his love of music honestly.
His Grandma used to go honky-tonkn' in the days when Johnny
Horton and Hank Thompson played the ol Wagon Wheel roadhouse
west of Blanchard. His mom had all the vinyl. She listened to
Motown, western swing and soft rock.
neighbor had a drum kit and he gave me access."
When he was 7, Mike started getting his brother's cast off guitars.
just seems right that Byars has been laying down the rhythm with
Norman's premier red dirt jump blues band for years now.
On the dance floor, rivers of sweat have dripped from the chest
of sorority girls from this boys beat.
asked who they would bring back from the Great Beyond for one
more concert Hosty: "Box Car Willie, he would crash through the window in a truck and yell HOO HOO randomly as he sang. Byars :"Baby
Dodds from New Orleans, he played wood blocks for Louis Armsrtong.
cures for heartache: Hosty, "Cold Beer" and Byars " A trip to
Byars was tight as a full tick on a ranch dog's ear. His power bursts are amazing. Hosty played kazoo on several numbers, announcing Cryptically after one , "Mr. Boots Randolph on tenor sax." He whistled the porno western trumpet line ( as played by Victor Rook) for "Gunfighter." They played a Dick Dale visits noble instrumental punctuated by exclamations of " Chewbabcca."
Doug Hill Norman Transcript August 18, 2000
ROCKN' RED DIRT HOSTY LIVE IN DENVER
Tulsa Urban Magazine