Hollis Brown show their love In The Aftermath

Hollis Brown show their love In The Aftermath

Hollis Brown show their love In The Aftermath a wonderful R'n'B, blues, country and rock mix that pays due deference to the originals but brings a fresh approach to each track.

Bluesdoodles rating: 4 Doodle Paws – a wonderful R’n’B, blues, country and rock mix that pays due deference to the originals but brings a fresh approach to each track.

There’s no one called Hollis or Brown in this band: the name derives from the Bob Dylan song, The Ballad Of Hollis Brown. (As with all of Dylan’s songs, in my opinion, they’re much better when covered by other artists…this particular one has been done by quite a few but none have touched the brilliance of Nazareth’s version on the Loud ‘n’ Proud album…a heart-breaking story of poverty and death made into an epic by McCafferty and co.)

Hollis Brown is a band that blend soul, blues, rock ‘n’ roll, funk and a few more into a sound that is bang up to date while still paying homage to the sounds that made music what it is today. They’ve been around since 2013, performing in the US and Europe and have released a couple of albums and featured in a number of films and TV shows.

Their latest release isn’t a new Hollis Brown concept; they previously rerecorded (very well, by the way) Velvet Underground’s Loaded album…this time they have taken the genius of The Rolling Stones and recorded/reinterpreted the first all Jagger/Richards composed album, Aftermath. They use the US version as their template: the UK version had more tracks and different running order. In the words of the band, “[they] escaped to the Poconos to record with a few handles of whiskey, and, in one 24-hour session, ran down the Stone’s US version of their seminal first album of all originals.” Being an ignorant northern Englishman, I’m not sure what measure a “handle of Whiskey” is, but it sounds like the band had lubrication aplenty!

The album isn’t just the band playing The Stones; they celebrate and salute the importance of that album and band in various, clever ways without taking away the essence of the originals.

That is very much in evidence as they take on Paint It Black…instrumentally they keep close to the ‘eastern’ guitar sound but still manage to stamp their personality on it. There’s a nice guitar overlay at the fade too…but it fades. Stupid Girl and Lady Jane are dealt with exceptionally well: faithful and the same but different. Under My Thumb also makes certain the essence is there, right down to the Rhodes backing. Doncha Bother Me was always my favourite with the lovely slide guitar overlaying the tight rhythm set by Wyman and Watts as Jagger has a snarl and shows how good he is with the harmonica… I like the way the Browns have made it slightly heavier and the chord/slide echo is effective and the harp solo is suitably phrased. The way they modified Flight 505 to bring up to date and to fit with their strengths is great. High and Dry rightly highlights the country blues The Stones used to both cover and to blend into compositions such as this one…a temptation to ye ha will grab you as they put heart, soul and life into this one. Closing with Goin’ Home, the empathy is clever and the bass, in particular, is spot on.

This is a strong album that transcends the ‘tribute’ albums that proliferate: it is a labour of obvious love, a homage to a great band executed with taste and different enough to be a Hollis Brown album at the same time.

OK, if you’re a massive Stones fan, you will always prefer the originals but if you just like quality R’n’B played with care and skill, then you will like this.

Hollis Brown show their love In The Aftermath

Track listing

Paint it Black
Stupid Girl
Lady Jane
Under My Thumb
Doncha Bother Me
Flight 505
High and Dry
It’s Not Easy
I Am Waiting
Goin’ Home 

Mike Montali: vocals, guitar
Jonathan Bonilla: guitar
Adam Bock: keyboards
Andrew Zehnal: drums
Chris Urriola: bass

Released on February 4th via Mascot Label Group/Cool Green Recordings.

Connect with Hollis Brown across SOCIAL MEDIA
Official Website

(iTunes took me on a Hollow tour: more Hollis Brown (from last year’s Ozone Park album, then Hollow Haze and Hollowstar for some quality rock but I let the computer continue to an album of mail covers…Hollywood Vampires with Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp et al conjuring a fabulous album as a tribute to Alice’s fellow drinkers of yore who are no longer with us: Jeepster and Itchycoo Park are sheer genius.)

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