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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Review: The Hollyfelds - Black Heart Blue

The Hollyfelds - Black Heart Blue
2009, The Hollyfelds

When two of the best female vocalists in country music happen to be part of the same band you know you've got the start of something good. Eryn Hoerig (vocals, autoharp, ukulele, piano) and Kate Grigsby (vocals, 6- and 12-string guitars, banjo, autoharp and mandolin) create harmonies that are absolutely angelic. Add into the mix Tim Mallot (dobro, mandolin and lead guitar); Sam Spitzer (drums, cowbells, accordion) and Keith Hoerig (bass) and you have The Hollyfelds, a band that should inspire you to rename the alt-country genre in their honor. On April 3, 2009, The Hollyfelds will release their third CD; a 5-track EP entitled Black Heart Blue. It's hard to imagine The Hollyfelds topping 2008's Saratoga, but it appears they may have done so.

Black Heart Blue opens with 2 a.m. and the enthralling harmony vocals of Hoerig and Grisgsby. Hoerig has a classic country voice with just a touch of brass; a "tough girl" sound that is balanced out by Grisgby's sweet, lyric soprano. 2 a.m. is the perfect opening; showing off the tight musical interplay of the band beneath the vocalists. Bad Timing has a folk/rock feel to it and a melody that is thoroughly infectious; you won't be able to sit still. Hey 52 plies an early country/rock sound (mellow rockabilly) to a song about getting out of town. The vocals are superb as always, but instrumental work underneath on this one is particularly exceptional. She's Got You is a classic country heart breaker ("I've got your picture, she's got you"). Black Heart Blue closes out with a little bit of redneck country on Ain't It Something, a song about the aftermath of a one night stand.

The Hollyfelds will be touring on a regional basis during 2009 in support of Black Heart Blue. I highly recommend that if you're near one of their shows you take the opportunity to go see them. Ten years from now you'll be paying big money for one of their tickets and telling people about the time you saw them in a small club in the southwest. It's rare to find a mix of talent with the magical spark that The Hollyfelds possess. All it will take is for the right break to happen and The Hollyfelds are going to be as huge as huge can be. If you don't believe me (or even if you do), check out Black Heart Blue, a Wildy's World Certified Desert Island Disc. You won't be sorry.

Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about The Hollyfelds at You can order copies of Black Heart Blue through CDBaby.

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