Album review by KevW
This article also appears on http://www.soundsxp.com
Counting collaborations and her work with Thee Headcoates, Holly Golightly's long career extends well beyond the twenty album mark. It's an enviable work rate and a surprisingly successful one given that she remains not only a going concern but one with a large and dedicated following, made all the more impressive considering she's never given a toss about current trends, or indeed particularly current sounds. Not for the first time, 'Long Distance' finds Holly upping her musical sticks from Medway's garage scene to the lazy blues of the Mississippi delta.
With the aid of her stellar backing group, The Brokeoffs, this album is an attempt to merge reworkings of some of her old songs, live favourites and covers, and bearing in mind that the originals not only span more than one genre, but several decades too, 'Long Distance' is a remarkably cohesive record and if you knew no better you wouldn't bat an eyelid if the date on the sleeve read 1962 and not 2012. It's a timeless sound that could have been made at any point in the last 50 years, and as many of the tracks covered are hardly radio staples, a few people may not even realise it isn't an original work.
The two most famous songs tackled here are those that bookend the album: Sam & Dave's classic 'You Ain't No Big Thing Baby' is turned from soul stomper to raw electric blues in keeping with what's to follow, while at the other end, Jimmy Reed's 'Big Boss Man' is more faithfully reproduced but with fresher (yet still authentic) production. What lies in between doesn't stray far from this format. 'Dear John' and 'My Love Is' are proper back porch, gospel-inflected blues plucking. 'Long Distance' is a well made album but nothing that blues connoisseurs won't have heard before, however for those who've been put off the genre by tedious pub bands featuring guitarists with a god complex, this could be an ideal starting point.
Holly Golightly's website
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