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Tony Holiday (from the album Motel Mississippi available on Forty Below Records) (by Lee Zimmerman)
With his second solo album, Motel Mississippi, Tony Holiday reaffirms a commitment to contemporary Blues. The follow-up to 2020's Soul Service and two volumes of Tony Holiday's Porch Sessions, a pair of albums that found Holiday traveling across the United States and throughout Europe while recording Blues musicians on their front porches, in juke joints, in the countryside, and even in the doorways of night spots that inhabit urban environs. It also included an exceptional list of participants, among them Charlie Musselwhite, Bobby Rush, John Primer, Lurie Bell, Southern Avenue, Victor Wainwright, and John Németh.
They could be considered the equivalent of modern field recordings in terms of variety and sheer depth of devotion.
Motel Mississippi finds Tony Holiday’s dedication indulged even further through his own efforts. It was recorded in Coldwater, Mississippi, at Zebra Ranch, the studio belonging to the late, great Jim Dickinson, the man behind the boards for such luminaries as the Rolling Stones, Big Star, and The Replacements, among the many. Influenced by the archetypical sounds of North Mississippi Hill Country, Delta Blues, and Memphis soul, the album offers a combination of steady rhythms, a solid stomp and a series of shuffles. Holiday makes the most of a ready groove, turning songs such as “Rob & Steal”, Get By”, and “Trouble” into deliberate and decisive statements of emphatic intent. The slow Blues of “Nobody but You”, “You Know Who I Am” and the closing harp-driven instrumental “Yazoo River” manage to maintain the momentum, each allowing Holiday to shift his stance even while staying true to his muse.
Granted, Tony Holiday doesn’t necessarily break any boundaries, but that also isn’t his intent. As a harp layer he’s also not out to steal the spotlight. He’s simply an artist with clear commitment to his cause, and in this instance that certainly does suffice. (by Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of Tony Holiday from AMAZON
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