I put Jolie Holland in the same class as Bob Dylan and Tom Waits because of her ability to assimilate traditional music into a sound and style that is singularly her own. She also happens to have an unusual voice that, not unlike Bob Dylan and Tom Waits, doesn’t exactly have mass appeal. One reviewer said she sings like she’s got a mouth full of marbles. Maybe, but she makes it work. Her music first fell into a folky weird bluesy category and has gradually moved towards a more full-on band rock sound, kinda like Bob Dylan. Every album builds on what came before it and, although she doesn’t hit pay dirt every time, it’s usually pretty damn good. The first song of hers to grab me was the ghostly Wandering Angus. Her interpretation of Pure Imagination is way out there too. But I’ll pick “Mexico City” because I don’t know what else to pick.
P.S.: The Daytrotter Sessions from 2007 and 2009 are essential Jolie Holland recordings, perhaps more so than any of her albums. It’s the best sample of her music I’ve found online. Wolfgang’s Vault has performances of some of her latest songs.
My CD pre-order of Jolie Holland’s new album, Pint of Blood, has been delayed until mid-July. So I’m listening to the entire album streaming from Paste Magazine. The streaming was supposed to end on June 28th, but I guess someone at Paste forgot to pull the plug.
I’m on track 6 now, a new interpretation of “The Littlest Birds.” It’s all good, man, it’s all good. Fans who appreciate what she can do with a good band like in the 2007 and 2009 Daytrotter Sessions will probably enjoy the ride. I know I am. I’m loving everything she does. I love her musical sensibilities, how she incorporates her traditional bluesy influences and makes them her own, how she continually evolves as an artist.
I’m on the last track now, a piano and violin (or carpenters saw?) cover of Townes Van Zandt’s “Rex’s Blues.” It’s killer. Another beautiful album from Jolie Holland.
Here’s a song called “Gold and Yellow” from Jolie Holland’s album, Pint of Blood (release date: June 28, 2011):
I’ve heard online performances of a handful of the songs from the album. She’s like Bob Dylan and Tom Waits to me. Soaked in old traditions and making them new, making them her own. Always evolving as an artist. Always super cool.
I’m at work. I can’t ramble on pointlessly like I usually do. So here it is.
Jolie Holland has a new album called The Living and the Dead. Click the link for more details and a free track. I like it!
He’s the love child of Howlin’ Wolf and the Cookie Monster’s sister and he’s only getting better with age. Tom Waits. He’s #1 on my list of performers I’d want to see live.
I’d pay big money for it, but he’s released an entire 2.5 hour concert free of charge on NPR.org from his recent Glitter and Doom tour. It’s a good quality recording. I’ve listened to it every day since I downloaded it last week. (I installed iTunes just for the concert.) Songs like “Make it Rain” and “Hoist That Rag” are shotgun blasts. He does “9th and Hennepin” and “All The World is Green” and others you think you might know, but you don’t. They don’t sound like the record (much like Dylan’s live performances). They sound like new songs. I love it.
Here’s an interview with Jolie Holland I bookmarked from GoogleVideo ages ago and then completely forgot about. It’s worth a peak if you’re curious what she looks and sounds like when she’s not singing — when she’s just sitting there combing her hair.
And here’s a bootleg video of her playing “Catalpa Waltz.”