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Holly Golightly 

Dirt Don't Hurt (Transdreamer)

Wednesday, Nov 26 2008

Accompanied by the Brokeoffs — actually Texan multi-instrumentalist Lawyer Dave — Holly Golightly draws upon pre-rock-'n'-roll–era blues. On her latest release, Dirt Don't Hurt, she specifically hits the nexus where blues was transitioning from acoustic to electric styles — think Lightnin' Hopkins, Memphis Minnie, and Lonnie Johnson — while also touching on country music. "I Wanna Hug Ya, Kiss Ya, Squeeze Ya" is a rousing, lusty duet in the manner of early Ike and Tina Turner. The song also has a strong shot of Chicago blues with serrated slide guitar, as Golightly's honeyed tones engage Dave's tomcat yowl. On the loping, lazy-tempo tunes "Slow Road" and "Indeed You Do," the duo sounds like a dissipated version of Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood (or the oldest couple in the bar at closing time). The yearning "Accuse Me" finds Golightly channeling June Carter Cash, while the acoustic thumper "Cora" evokes the rural style of Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. The best thing about Dirt is its air of relaxed confidence: Holly Golightly and Lawyer Dave capture the essence of classic styles without overbearing "authenticity."

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Mark Keresman


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