Hot Day at the Zoo (HDATZ) the groove-friendly quartet mix folk, blues, ragtime and jazz with progressive bluegrass and Americana-infused rock and roll. HDATZ’s powerful acoustic music truly resonates in their energizing live show. Marked by a growing list of festival and direct support performances alongside artists including Levon Helm, David Grisman, moe, Railroad Earth, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Cowboy Junkies, Trampled By Turtles and the Ryan Montbleau Band, Hot Day at the Zoo proves that their grassroots approach has built a dedicated fan base. Their rock ‘n’ roll with bluegrass instrumentation resonates with fans of Yonder Mountain String Band, the Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons and Grateful Dead.
While featuring bluegrass instrumentation (all strings, no drums), they play in a rock mode catalyzed by fleetly-picked strings, old-timey vocals and a classic mix of pathos and good humor. Sometimes they’re tender, sometimes they’re antsy, sometimes they’re just messing with you… their best offerings strike a balance of bemused soul and screw-it-abandon that isn’t tethered to any one emotion. They sing about conflict, but not melodrama. They’re funny, but not too dorky about things. They pick enough love to be sensitive, enough sex to be ribald. – Relix Magazine
The best compliment one can pay an EP is that it leaves you hungry for more from the band. That’s an easy compliment to give first rate string band and songwriters Hot Day at the Zoo’s five-track salvo, Long Way Home… It’s clear these boys are primo pickers but they’re developing a strong sense of where to cut back so the songs shine. It’s something a lot of string bands don’t get, strumming so hard you can’t help but notice the player at the expense of the tune… In tone and delivery it’s reminiscent of Robert Hunter & Jerry Garcia in their early ’70s heyday, a cut worthy of American Beauty/Workingman’s Dead. – JamBase
Move over Yonder Mountain String Band and the Avett Brothers, there’s a new progressive string outfit on the scene. Hot Day At the Zoo, a four-piece hailing from Lowell, Mass., (of all places!) score with ‘Long Way Home,’ their sophomore EP. These five songs showcase the group’s collective abilities. – NY Daily News
When we think of a hot day at the zoo, we picture lethargic animals and sweating visitors. But this Hot Day at the Zoo is very cool, and anything but lethargic. The frenetic foursome from Lowell peels off a gritty urban- bluegrass sound laced with folk, blues, ragtime, and jazz – a mix their fans call ‘ZooGrass.’ – Boston Globe
Bluegrass youngbloods Hot Day at the Zoo, respect the music’s tradition but tug the genre in ways Bill Monroe and Earl Scruggs never expected. – Boston Phoenix