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Classic foot tapping down’n’dirty bluesy rock’n’roll
Monday, 02.11.2015, 20:20
oh what a night...
Hollis Brown
+Bruce Sudano (USA)
«Hollis Brown/He lived in the other side of town/With his wife and five children/And his cabin falling down.»

Hell no, this tale of poverty and desperation didn’t end well as you might have guessed. But it came about that a thumping rock band from New York City named themselves after that tough frontier saga recorded by Bob Dylan in 1964, «The Ballad of Hollis Brown.» The members of the band include Mike Montali (guitar, vocals), Jo Bonilla (guitar), Dillon DeVito (bass, vocals), Andrew Zehnal (drums) and Adam Bock (piano, vocals). And their evolution is one tough ballad in its own right and an electric one at that to follow. What with the morphing from early beginnings as a local garage band into this heavily touring monster crew. And in between storming the planet with the likes of Lucero and Counting Crows they’ve put out fine albums like their third and latest, «3 Shots» – three bangs heard around the world for sure. «We wanted a bigger drum sound, bigger guitars and a bigger record in general. But it’s still kind of rough.» Yes, and for once and again bigger definitely takes the cake. And here are some of the lyrics: «That 3shots on the boulevard/And who will be the next one that they name/Oh if nobody cares». Can’t you just hear Robert Mitchum humming that tune while polishing his gun?

Their sound was put on a musically heavy rocky road, leading to their current notoriety. It’s a style that relies on chunks of classic foot tapping down’n’dirty bluesy rock’n’roll. But also each of the members of the band’s staying open to the rich influences of American rock and blues past and present. And is incorporating them into the band’s repertory as they feel them. And Montali credits the band’s producer Adam Landry with the best career advice he’s gotten: «If you have a classic record, one that the world can connect with but that is still true to yourself, that’s the secret.»

As we were saying, Hollis Brown’s last record is «3 Shots». But live, you only get one at them.

 

Bruce Sudano

«Love To Love You Baby» was one of the humongous hit songs of the undisputed queen of disco, Donna Summers. Bruce Sudano, singer-songwriter originally from Flatbush, Brooklyn, not only became her husband but wrote and produced for her (Bad Girl). And not only for her but Dolly Parton, Michael Jackson, Reba McEntire and even Snoop Dogg also appreciated the power of his musical pen. The guy is like a whole epoch of successful songwriting and producing all compressed into one talented human being. He got his first paid gig at the age of 12, as a teenager he wrote «Balls of Fire» for Tommy James and The Shondells and could be heard in legendary New York City night clubs like The Cheetah with his bands Alive N Kickin’ and Brooklyn Dreams, creating another classic with «Heaven Knows». This behind-the-scenes genius is still at it with his latest chapter, the soulful and sensitive album «The Burbank Sessions». Legends are made, not born. Witness the ongoing re-birth of a true one. He’d love to see you, baby.

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