Boomkat Product Review:
'Keeping A Record Of It' is Lonnie Holley's beautiful follow-up to last year's sublime debut album, 'Just Before Music', which seemingly came outta nowhere to the delight of many, from Raime's Joe Andrews to Deerhunter's Bradford Cox - who coincidentally helps out on this 2nd album alongside Cole Alexander (The Shins).
However, Lonnie ain't no spring chicken; he's a 63 year old visual artist from Birmingham, Alabama who's specialised in sculpture for a number of decades since finding his calling after his formative years brought up in a whiskey house and time locked up and beaten in the Alabama Industrial School for Negro Children. On account of his positive, off-the-dome lyrics and penchant for bright New Age synths, we previously compared his sound with that on Lil B's 'Rain In England', but of course it's much more than that, a whole microcosmos unto itself. In 'Keeping A Record Of It' his sound is subtly fleshed out with extra layers of percussion and chiming guitars on a handful of songs.
To be honest we were worried when we initially saw the list of collaborators, but mercifully their input is relatively restrained and not at the expense of Lonnie's naked integrity. His heart-breakin', molasses-garglin' blues holler and chiming keys are still the centrepiece, beautifully so in his 2006 dedication to the Queen, 'Six Space Shuttles and 144,000 Elephants' testified and recorded at Friendship Baptist Church in Alabama, and the lo-fi futuristic meditation, 'Mind On', while the added percussions and harmonised vocal on 'Sun & Water' and the mellow bloom of of Afro-psychedelic guitars, effects and swaying drums on 'From the Other Side of the Pulpit' gently buoy his spirit instead of distracting from it, as we'd feared. Simply, it's another magical album - Lonnie Holley is a one-of-a-kind.