Boomkat Product Review:
A welcome, grizzled voice of experience for hard times, Lonnie Holley returns with a clutch of aching blues songs written circa his early classics for Dust-To-Digital
‘National Freedom’ was penned during 2013-2014 with Richard Swift at his National Freedom studio in Oregon, and overseen by Lonnie’s close accomplice Matt Arnett, and patently harks back to the styles of his still burning side, ‘Keeping A Record Of It’, which arrived only a year after his remarkable debut entrance ‘Just before Music.’ Those records still bear a unique power that hasn’t diminished one iota, and we can’t help but indulge some nostalgia for the time Lonnie performed for us in Salford to a crowd who, we’re pretty sure, will testify to witnessing one of the greatest shows of their lives, watching Lonnie breath new life into a seriously battered auld piano.
Lonnie’s eternal improv inventiveness now bleeds thru poignantly in ‘National Freedom’, where the sculptor turned musician alchemises pain into raw beauty on five previously unreleased works. His singular vocals carry the weight of the world a psych-blues stroller ‘Crstal Doorknob’, and hit right on the soul-spot with the men downstroke of ‘Do T Rocker’, while ‘Like Hell Broke Away’ sees him embedded in billowing FX, layered with his own low-end growls. But anyone looking for that inimitable Lonnie magick will find it at the record’s sweetest spots, crooning over thumb piano, and nowt but, on ‘In It Too Deep’, and to spine-shivering effect in the 11 minute breadth of ‘So Many Rivers (The First Time).’