Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs’ down home country blues, Wednesday at Spaceland
Holly Golightly has traversed many a mile since her days as a member of the lo-fi British all-girl garage rock group Thee Headcoatees. Since launching a solo career in 1995, she has graced the music world with more than 15 albums, not to mention career highlights such as collaborations with luminaries like Mudhoney and Jack White and inclusion on Jim Jarmusch's "Broken Flowers" soundtrack.
Over the years, the down-to-earth garage queen has increasingly immersed herself in the gritty world of American roots music. She has fished for inspiration in the robust waters of blues, folk and country, but her new album, "Medicine County," from Transdreamer Records, finds her more firmly planted in the rhythms and nuances of Southern roots rock than ever before. And with good reason. The British expat, who now tends to chickens and horses on a rural Georgia farm, recorded “Medicine County" in an abandoned, recently foreclosed church.
“It wasn't a very big one. It was a little country church, not a cathedral,” says Golightly via phone, en route to tonight’s show in San Diego. “There’s an awful lot of them in varying degrees of decay. It still had the organ in it and we got loaned the key by a friend of ours who was caretaking while it was for sale.”
The album, Golightly’s third collaboration with the Brokeoffs (a.k.a. one-man band Lawyer Dave, a former Texan whose musical background includes such diverse pursuits as country, blues and heavy metal) is a no-frills, gutsy tapestry crowded with country fiddling, bluesy ballads and slow slide guitar. Asked about the lightning speed three-week recording process, Golightly says, “I don't know what I would do if I had more than that amount of time in the studio. I'd lose interest. I'd lose the will to live if I had to listen to something over and over again that many times.”
The creative spontaneity behind “Medicine County” makes the album shine with a homespun warmth and good humor. From the strolling, reverb-laden duet "Murder in My Mind" to the blues stomper "When He Comes” to the slow, haunting country lament "Dearly Departed," the record explores the rocky, dusty terrain of American roots music with skill and genuine affection.
Catch Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs on Wednesday night at Spaceland. Preview "Forget It," the first track on "Medicine County," below.
-- Jason Gelt
Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs at Spaceland, 1717 Silver Lake Blvd., L.A. 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets are $12 advance, $14 at the door.
Photo: Holly Golightly and Lawyer Dave. Credit: Alison Wonderland