Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs - Dirt Don't Hurt [Damaged Goods, 2008]
This sounds like a soundtrack to a hillbilly horror road movie.
Holly & Dave:
"In the studio...This particular project was recorded in the middle of a 50 date tour during the only break we had. That week found us in Gijon, Spain on the Northern coast. We had chosen to record there at an analog studio by the name of Circo Perotti which is outfitted with a lovely selection of vintage microphones and loads of ancient outboard treasures to play with. After wrangling with all the ghosts, goblins and gremlins that inhabit gear and studios of this nature, the record was completed in five days... which is one more day than we spent the last one, so it may seem a little over produced to some!
While we must admit it was probably not the most carefully recorded string of sounds ever committed to tape, we do feel that it suits the songs. We were a bit weary and dirty. If you listen close, you'll hear the mud on our shoes on more than a few tracks.
This record is called "Dirt Don't Hurt", because it doesn't. It was produced by us".
What is it with the Damaged Goods crew? They're so stubborn and set in their brilliant ways that they keep releasing brilliant LPs that hoodwink you into thinking that they've found a load of recordings in a hole in some dusty ground from 1938/1967/1977 and released them to be reappraised. However, you also know damn well that these records are by artists that you can go watch live and now.
The latest release to land on the mat is the staggeringly great "Dirt Don't Hurt" by Holly Golightly and The Brokeoffs. Man, I can't tell you how great this LP is. Hip crackin' country twangz and heart melting ballads straight outta the Appalachian Mountains. Holly Golightly, stylish and beautiful, makes songs older than Clinch Mountain and is channeling every dead member of the Carter Family through that mean ol' voice of hers... get ready to have a teenage crush.
To pick out each track and tell you how great they are seems futile on this album. Basically, this is a proper album which runs into itself, with each song bleeding into the next... not in a onelongcontinuousalbum way, but rather, the spirit of one songs echoes into the next, making the whole experience feel a bit like watching some creepy road movie or getting lost in some Flannery O'Connor story. There's something other-worldly about this record, even though it manages to use the tools you recognise. I mean, it's a record painted in pulps and grit, while sounding like one long fable. It's a triumph.
Shimmered trem' guitar (like you heard on various Lee Hazlewood productions) and clanging pots 'n' pan drums back up lapsteels and strums, while on top, vocals switch from broken, beat down bruises to drunken steely glares. Man, if you want an LP that sits somewhere between Lee and Nancy and Johnny and June, this LP really should find a place in your racks. Even if you're not looking for a rekkid like that, you should buy it anyway. It's an LP without one bum-note... not a bad one anyway... and a record that walks into Nashville and demands a challenger. This is perfect.
Posted by wino at Monday, August 18, 2008