These hip New Yorkers, Hollis Brown, have a fantastic take on blues rock that I absolutely love. At the moment I like these kids better than the Black Keys, though the BKs have the lead in terms of unforgettable videos. It’s not easy to play modern blues rock and keep it real or make it new in any way, but so far Hollis Brown has managed to keep on doing exactly that.
Taking queues from classic pop, rock’n’roll, and Americana, Hollis Brown combines raw rock sensibilities with sweet melodies and heartfelt lyrics to create a rich, warm sound that can fill any room. After releasing their debut EP last year, the NYC-based band is gearing up to put out their first full-length album, Ride On The Train— which is full of gritty jams and soft, sweet ballads– on March 5th via Alive Records.
Despite its title, album track “Down On Your Luck” (above) sets a bright, hopeful tone with twangy guitars and a playful vocal melody. “Doghouse Blues” is a straight-up bluesy rock song with rollicking melodies and dirty guitar licks. “Walk On Water” kicks it up a notch with raw vocals and screeching guitar solos. Tracks like the melancholic “If It Ain’t Me” and the powerfully optimistic “Faith & Love” showcase the band’s vulnerable side. The album closes on a sweet note with “Nightfall,” fading out with smooth, crooning vocals drifting above light, dreamy instrumentation.
On this Soundcloud page, you can hear “Down on Your Luck” and also some great related Hollis Brown tunes such as “Spoonful,” “Gypsy Black Cat” and “If it Ain’t Me.”
Having already performed alongside Deer Tick and Caveman, Hollis Brown will hit the road for a mini East-coast tour this month. Be sure to catch them live in your city, and stay tuned for more from Hollis Brown coming soon!
Hollis Brown on Tour:
1/11: Annapolis, MD @ Metropolitan
1/16: Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Cafe
1/17: Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
1/18: Columbus, OH @ Rumba Cafe
1/19: Frederick, MD @ Cafe Nola
2/01: Burlington, VT @ Red Square
2/02: Boston, MA @ Great Scott
2/16: Philadelphia, PA @ Milkboy