Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs: All Her Fault

HollyGolightlyBrokeoffs_AllHerFaultAnother winning set of idiosyncratic blues, folk and country

The latest collaboration between Holly Golightly and Lawyer Dave doesn’t really break any new ground, but when you’re in a solid groove, new ground isn’t necessarily the place to plow. Golightly herself says “I’m not looking to achieve something that hasn’t been achieved before. We just do what we do. The songs are really all that changes.” But changing the songs turns out to be enough, as the idiosyncratic combination of folk musics they’ve developed over the past seven years still has new things to say. As before, the tracks are assembled in the studio instrument-by-instrument and voice-by-voice, but the productions aren’t overworked, and their unfinished edges retain the vitality of performance.

The duo’s interests in country, blues and R&B continue to dominate, with vocals that range from sing-out hootenannies to cooler moods that recall solo albums like Laugh it Up. Golightly sings girlish country on “No Business” and adds 50s-styled harmonies behind the resigned lead of “The Best.” The former includes terrific electric guitar, and the latter has a drifting piano that signals the album’s newest instrumental member. Piano is heard tinkling behind the blue waltz “Pistol Pete,” and rolling riffs along the edges of “Bless Your Heart” and “Pefect Mess.” Lawyer Dave picks and strums throughout the album, with plenty of slide to give things twang.

The duo’s penchant for clanking percussion remains a major element of their music, and the blue-folk “Can’t Pretend” once again brings to mind their modern-day take on Richard & Mimi Farina. Tracks that really highlight the pair’s musical ethos include the rough-and-ready stomp heard on “1234” and “Don’t Shed Your Light,” and the slow-moving organ-stabbed blues of “King Lee.” The album’s lone cover is Richard Jones’ “Trouble in Mind,” taken upbeat from its earliest incarnations [1 2] and goosed by a yowling vocal. This is an imaginative album of songs whose roots are yet again twisted and turned into something original. [©2014 Hyperbolium]

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