Wednesday, April 9, 2008
REVIEW: The Hollyfelds - Saratoga
The Hollyfelds – Saratoga
2008, The Hollyfelds
Alt-Country. Americana. Folk/bluegrass/pop. Call it what you will. The Hollyfelds have made one of the finest alt-country albums of the past 10 years.
Drawing on sounds from classic country to Appalachian folk, Saratoga is a musician’s dream. Start with the dueling vocals of Eryn Hoerig and Kate Grigsby. Their vocals wrap around one another in harmonies so tight they’ll make you want to cry, laugh out loud and jump for joy. You’d be happy listening to bathroom cleaner jingles as long as they were sung by these two.
Luckily, the material here far surpasses bad ad campaigns, and the rest of the band is sufficiently talented to effectively balance the two leads. Keith Hoerig and “Magic Sam” Spitzer create a tight rhythm section, while Tim Mallot fleshes out the sound with an old-country charm. Musically they walk the line between The Be Good Tanyas and Over The Rhine (not bad company).
The songs? This is where it gets really interesting. These are some of the most finely-crafted country songs you’ll run across west of Nashville. Luckily The Hollyfelds have not been tainted by the country/pop mania that has engulfed Music City, but are writing the next generation of country standards (or what should be, in a perfect world). “Indecision”, “I’m Gonna Feel Tonight”, and “Burned” are major highlights, but I would challenge any reader to find a weak song here.
Saratoga excites me for the future of The Hollyfelds, and for the future of country music. It’s unfortunate that the current iteration of country radio is not friendly to bands like The Hollyfelds, because they deserve to be heard by as many people as they can reach. Let’s face it. People deserve to hear the Hollyfelds.
Rating: Buy It Now!
You can learn more about The Hollyfelds at www.thehollyfelds.comor www.myspace.com/thehollyfelds. You can purchase MP3s through their My Space page, or you can get a hard copy of the CD at www.cdbaby.com/hollyfelds.