Though it may be true that the opening tune “SLC” warns,
Don’t get your hopes up in Salt Lake City
Because you ain’t gonna have a good time
the chorus then asks,
Why you want go into Salt Lake City
Where you can’t get fucked up, can’t get shitty?
which leaves all the folks who didn’t want to do either of those in the first place cool with the whole thing, anyway. Right? Right.
And then there are the Salt Lakers whose disgruntlement will be diffused by the fact that Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs sure sound as if they’re having a good time while telling you all this: “SLC” sounds like what John Hiatt looks like when he goes into his white guy cool jerk during a live show: head bobbing, shoulder swaying, all rubber-legged rhythm that cares not what the rest of the world is doing. Add to that a guitar break that sounds like Ry Cooder at his elastic-toned goofiest and you have a situation where everybody eventually ends up dancing like funky roosters and all is forgiven.
Welcome to the world of Ms. Holly Golightly (yep: I’m pretty sure that’s what it says on her checks) and The Brokeoffs, which consists of one (1) Lawyer Dave, Holly’s partner and musical co-conspirator. Recorded in the couple’s home studio on a little farm outside of Athens, GA, It’s Her Fault is a fun and fine and dandy piece of work for a number of reasons.
First, I would defy you to suspect that this music was created by a two-person band. The magic of multi-tracked overdubs aside, there’s something that the most whizzo-bango of recording equipment can’t infuse into a track: the energy and spirit of a circle of players looking each other in the eye, reacting to each other in the moment. Somehow, these two nailed that spirit right to the wall.
Listen to “Can’t Pretend”, which starts off with a chugging acoustic guitar (Lawyer Dave), quickly joined by Lawyer Dave doing his best Slim Jim Phantom on the drums and ol’ Lawyer Dave womping out a bass line that sets the tune a’bouncing. Holly snaps out the vocal, doubling/tripling/who knows how many times on certain phrases – Lawyer Dave may be singing in the background, as well – and if it doesn’t sound like there was a whole slew of Hollys and Daves all bumping hips and leaning into a single mic in the middle of one big circle, you tell me. Add a scuffed up raunchy electric guitar scratching out a mad rhythm (Lawyer Dave) and a surprise visit by Lawyer Dave on a wildly shimmering geetar break in the middle of the whole works and YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! You’re singing or dancing or singing and dancing to what sounds like at least a half-dozen people’s worth of rockabilly happiness blasting out of two folks who basically laid this thing down when they weren’t busy with chores around the farm.
Don’t stop now: click right here to read the rest of my review of Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs’ new album on Jambands.com