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Holly Golightly

• Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs

You Can't Buy a Gun When You're Crying is the soundtrack of a Jim Jarmusch film that you will never see. Released under the moniker of Holly Golightly and The Brokeoffs, the album is a side project of Holly Golightly, and David Drake (credited as Lawyer Dave), a longtime member of Holly's touring band. The two spent a scant number of hours in the studio, as both musicians were afforded a limited beat of time due to divergent residences (Holly in England, and Dave stateside). The shortage of hours casts no reflection upon the worn sheen of such an authentic piece of folk-country revelry.

Holly & Dave

Beginning almost immediately, with "Devil Do", and extending more evidently on "Everything You Do," the duo plays no tricks in setting dusty landscape. You are brought to horseshoe shacks, and barbecue pits, to smell the smoke of slow southern twang. More Loretta than Dolly, the album most likely lends its Texas-sized soul to Lawyer Dave's roots. Dave's tender voice harmonizes, and distinguishes the barely noticeable English parlance that is buried deep within Holly's chest. The slide guitar work that accompanies Holly's acoustic adds time and place to the setting of the album as well.

The title track is feisty where called on, and whiny at appropriate times. You feel for this woman who is so cursed by the love that can do no right. "Crow Long" is a short burst from the first half of the twentieth century (as could be said for much of the album); here, once again, the slide guitar from Lawyer Dave licks the song with just the right attitude. The only thing that distinguishes "Clean In Two" from a Tom Waits release (Jarmusch again) is the clean heart that is released in Holly's voice--none of the dry pain that would pour from Waits' own gut.

"Whoopie Ti Y Yo" is an ode to the horseback song of a West that has long passed us by. With voices of ghosts, the duo echoes with passion a eulogy for a hard road to travel--an excellent resolution to the album, had they chosen such a path. Greater symmetry is captured with a conclusive "Devil Don't"--a polar response to album opener Devil Do. Tin can clad, and instrumental--I am once again made to feel like some visionary carnie in the peregrinations of Hunter S. Thompson.

from the first half of the twentieth century

Slide in a nickel, and punch that jukebox.
• Robert Karmin


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