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суббота, 15 января 2022 г.

Ericson Holt - 99 Degrees

Bitrate: 320K/s
Year: 2021
Time: 49:41 
Size: 113,9 MB 
Label: Conch Town Records
Styles: Blues/Modern Electric Blues
Art: Front 

Tracks Listing:
 1. Walkin In Our Sleep - 4:03
 2. Clever Girl - 4:04
 3. Empty Without A Secret - 4:25
 4. 99 Degrees - 4:51
 5. Sweet On You - 3:51
 6. Beautiful World - 4:56
 7. Walkin' on Bourbon Street - 4:51
 8. I'm Gonna Pay - 7:38
 9. Help Us Now - 6:26
10. Have Mercy - 4:31

Ericson Holt’s 99 Degrees, out August 20th via Conch Town Records, is a thoughtful and thought-provoking record by a musician with depth and soul. For those unfamiliar with Holt’s background, he inherited a wide-ranging musical appetite from his mother, novelist, poet and songwriter A. H. Holt. Ericson started out on piano before adding guitar, singing and playing harmonica in local folk groups. As a sideman, he took the stage everywhere from Bonnaroo and “The Tonight Show” to Royal Albert Hall and Red Rocks, performing alongside the likes of The Mavericks, Allison Moorer, Mike Farris, Jim Lauderdale, Rodney Crowell and  Delbert McClinton. A move to Nashville saw him gravitate towards the Americana community. “My ambition,” he says, of this decision, “was to be a singer-songwriter, but I realized that if I was going to survive in a town so full of talent, then I was going to have to hunker down, hone my chops, and become the best player I could as well.” On 99 Degrees, Holt is joined by a fair chunk of that talent, including organist Kevin McKendree, guitarist Joe McMahan, bassist Dave Santos and drummer Kenneth Blevins.
“Walkin’ In Our Sleep” kicks things off, with some lovely mid-tempo blues-country-rock. “Wake up, we’ve been dreaming somebody else’s dream,” sings Holt. This is well-crafted music with a strikingly original vibe. There’s blues here, certainly, and a definite Americana feel, but Holt also brings something of a classic soul element – think Stax/Motown or Muscle Shoals. There are plenty of sounds to hook the ear, with instruments sonically spaced out, so that hand-percussion plays nicely off a bedrock of bass and electric guitar riffs. “Empty Without A Secret” shows that Holt has variety in his play-book. This gentle country rocker lilts and rolls, with catchy vocal harmonies and some lovely piano adornments. Lyrically, Holt stays clear of stereotypical fare, or approaches such from a refreshingly original viewpoint.
The title-track shuffles and shimmers. “It’s ninety-nine degrees in the shade,” sings Holt, and you can hear the sweating, sweltering, yet welcome sun in the arrangement, which is rich and sophisticated. In fact, the more you listen to this album, the more little details you will pick up, from subtle horns to underlying keyboard chords. There is a lush, orchestral style to Holt’s work, which nonetheless comes across as highly accessible. It is very clear that a huge amount of effort has gone into constructing these tracks, and that effort has resulted in some very fine music indeed. “Beautiful World” might just be the grandest and most alluring track here, amongst some stiff competition. “In the new world, we measure your worth, by counting only money, bow down and start running, ’cause we know where you live.” Holt is an artist with a social conscience and a big heart.
“I’m Gonna Pay” bounces and rolls with some great blues swagger, vamping organ and swirling, fuzzy guitar. As ever, Holt and company inject enough energy and invention to keep your head nodding and your brain engaged. It’s the fine details that matter, and this is an area where 99 Degrees excels. “Have Mercy” takes us out on a sombre yet hopeful note, a classic country-blues ballad of love and courage.
“There are very few moments in this life that are purely good or bad,” says Holt, by way of his own introduction to this album. “There’s always some kind of dichotomy going on,” he continues, “how do we deal with the friction, and still find the joy and love that we all long for?” This question lies at the core of 99 Degrees and, while it doesn’t pretend to hold all the answers, it explores them beautifully, and provides plenty of entertainment along the way.

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