A few years ago in Tamworth, I heard a voice. It was big and booming and powerful. I literally fell off my stool. Thankfully, I had some friends around me who picked me up and put me back up there. Holy Snappin’ Bon Bons, Batman, it was earth shattering….in a good way. We had a mutual friend. That mututal friend and I listened to her at Mildura Country Music Festival in 2016 and then at Tamworth again last year at a night-before-Tamworth Festival non Country gig at The Albert. The mutual friend is a not too shabby, multi-Kazzie award winning chick called Allison Forbes.
Jess Holland’s third LP is amazing. That big, booming voice can also be subtle on tracks like the title track, Miss Demeanour and Solitary Mind, probably my two favourites to raunchy country rock, swamp music and blues, the girl has launched a thousand ships.
Jess is a very well respected artist amongst her peers. I am hoping that this album will introduce her to a wider audience. She will rock your country socks and boots.
Australian Dreamer – Working class song about a simple value system, simple dreams and hard working people. Rollicking start
Linburn Lane – Without liner notes, it is a bit hard to confirm, but I gather that this song may be based on family history.
Boys and Girls Like Me – Lots of guitars feature on this song that points the finger at people who judge.
I Built This Fire – You have to have at least one heartbreak song on a country album, this is one.
Time’s Tickin’ – Bluesy intro and swampy rock with lots of guitars and drums and harp.
Cowboy Hat of Mine – The history of a hat and what it has seen and where it has been….my Dad will love this song.
Broken Truth – This is another heartbreak song. A little bit different to the other one though. More Pat Benatar meets Quatro.
Miss Demeanour – Slowing things down now – gentle but earthy blues song. Probably my fave.
Wild Boy – Wild song about a Wild Boy. Watch out. The big voice is in da house. Not the type of boy to take home to Mother.
Bright Side of Town – When things go sour – nice fiddle – This is a Nicholson like song – wordswise.
Dangerous – A raunchy, angry song that you would expect to come under the title of Dangerous.
Hillbilly Family – A colourful family – I suspect that there are a few of these around the bush – sounding a bit like my hero – Mary Chapin Carpenter on this….I can’t give a bigger compliment than that.
Solitary Mind – Another favourite. A gentle little tune with strong subject matter in the lyrics.
I don’t have the hard copy, so I can’t give you credits or much technical detail. From the heart, this is an amazing album. A baker’s dozen of fabulous songs which have a common thread but they have a very different set of sounds and they are delivered in different ways. Watch this space, Jess may have been around for a while, but this is her springboard album.