Hothouse Flowers

I first came across Hothouse Flowers on the Tonight Show back when Carson was the host. They did a rendition of “I Can See Clearly Now” that was soulful, subtle, and powerful, and from that time on I have been a fan. As a young man who loved to cruise the backroads of the Northern California foothills and Napa Valley, more than any other artist, it was their music that supplied the soundtrack for my solitary ventures.

In all the years of listening to and loving their music, I have only seen them once in concert with my good friend Chris Brown, back in 1999 at the historic Maritime theatre in San Francisco. I consider myself blessed that I had that opportunity. On the night of the concert, however, I remember being mildly disappointed when they took the stage as it wasn’t the full ensemble, and it was clear it was going to be an acoustic set. And yet, I quickly repented of my disappointment, as Liam and the band put on a fantastic show. There was not a foot or ass in the audience that wasn’t stomping, shaking, and dancing.

Though the lineup of the band has changed somewhat over the years, the stable core of Liam O’ Maonlai, Fiachna O’Braonain, and Peter O’Toole have been the constant to give the band its distinctive soul and sound. Regarding their sound, at risk of smoothing over their distinctive character, I will say it’s hard not to think of Irish crooner, Van Morrison, for like Morrison, Hothouse Flowers is soulful and spiritual, and yet the two cannot be confused. Sure, Hothouse Flowers has deep roots in soul, gospel, and rhythm and blues, but through all this they make a clear nod towards rock-n-roll. Whatever genre they may be placed under at the record stores, however they are classified, in the end they are simply an excellent band. If you have ears and a modicum of taste, I am confident you won’t be disappointed.

I Can See Clearly Now

Dance To The Storm

Feet On The Ground

Give It Up

Hothouse Flowers Website

Some More Songs
Click on the song title of your choice and you will go to a website where you will find the song in a box in the middle of the page under the words “currently playing”. Again, click on the song title and this time select play.

Christ Church Bells
I’m Sorry
Good For You
Sweet Marie

5 Responses to “Hothouse Flowers”

  1. K.L.B.  

    I’m reminded of the book “Flowers for Algernon” (which I’ve never read) though I did enjoy watching the motion picture based upon it which was entitled “Charly.”

    If you’ll head over to my Flickr photo stream – – you’ll see a brief and excerpted video I shot last Thursday evening of the 2009 CMA Musician of the Year, Mac McAnally performing at University of North Alabama’s Norton Auditorium.

    Mac won the award in Nashville Wednesday night, and performed for us in Florence Thursday night. How cool is that?! Of course, living in the area as he does, helps too!

    This is the second consecutive year Mac’s won Musician of the Year.

    One of the cool things about the Shoals area is that there are so many musicians (and other artisans) residing there, and whom hail from the area. Among them are: Gary Baker, Lenny LeBlanc, Buddy Killen, Billy Sherrill, David Briggs, Jerry Carrigan and Norbert Putnam, the “Swampers” (Barry Beckett, Roger Hawkins, David Hood, Jimmy Johnson) plus Pete Carr, Clayton Ivey, Randy McCormick, Will McFarlane, Spooner Oldham, Percy Sledge, Quin Ivy (whom later became a professor at UNA), Dan Penn, Travis Wammack, Mark Narmore, Jim Seales, Walt Aldridge, Drive By Truckers and more.

  2. Anthony Velez  

    Kevin – As in you heard their music and you thought Flowers For Algernon, or just by hearing the name “Hothouse Flowers” you thought Flowers for Algernon. In the case of the latter, I get it, since there is the common word “flowers” present in both, but in the case of the former, I am thinking “Huh?!?”

    In the way of mental associations, for some reason when you mention the South I am reminded of a scene from The Commitments where the main character tries to convince his mates that it’s legit for a bunch of Irish Lads to play soul because the Irish are the blacks of Europe. For whatever reason I make this association, it seems to me that Ireland is like the South in musical generativity.

  3. K.L.B.  

    My Great Grandfather emigrated Ireland to Alabama. And if you’ll listen closely (with an historical ear), you’ll hear many Irish musical ‘turns’ or phrases, in bluegrass music.

  4. Simon Jones  

    I love the song Sweet Marie, a good live version is a ‘B side’ on a CD single I have of theirs (“This is it (Your soul)”). I too have seen them in concert, at the Liverpool Royal Court way back in probably 1995 or something. It was a stonker of a show, easily filling the little venue with enough musical energy to power a venue twice its size.

  5. Simon Jones  

    Oh, and as we’re talking about music, I am not sure if I have ever shared with you a mix CD I made. It’s called ‘waving at planes’ based upon the title of a Meanwhile I wrote way back.

    I used to love making mix tapes back when I was a kid. I still enjoy the process of making playlists and CD’s even today.

    Anyway, you and all your readers are welcome to go and download the music at a little website I created. The legality of the share is a little sketchy but we’re just sharing among friends, right? 😉 Check it out at

    There’s some pretty good music on there, including stuff by Joseph Arthur whose album Redemption’s Son I am sure you would love.