HOLYWATER HeavyDrunk (4142 Records) ****
This is HeavyDrunk’s 3rd album and it’s a beauty. Bluesy soul out of Nashville slathered in tangy barbeque sauce, Holywater is unforgettable.
HeavyDrunk is a 9 piece band that includes drums, guitars, keys, horns, bass and two backup singers who inject these 13 tracks with gospel flavour. Rob Robinson, the owner of Pucket’s Grocery & Restaurant 45 minutes south of Nashville, leads this parade and he sees how the food affects the music. “It’s kinda like when you pour a good barbeque sauce over a great piece of meat, it just infuses itself into the music” Rob says. “I’ve run a barbeque joint for the last 11 years and it just kinda soaks into the music.”
Holywater is bluesy but more soulful, thanks to the horns. The blistering opening track If I Loved You Hard Enough felt much like classic ZZ Top, Robinson’s voice having a similar timbre to Billy Gibbons’s, but the horn section swings like mad. When it comes time to throw down a ballad like High On Love the results are heartfelt and arresting, worthy of a romantic scene in any movie, and Somebody’s Got To Take Them Panties Off is humorously charming. The range of grooves and emotion over the course of the record makes for mad fun.
With a name like ‘HeavyDrunk’ I expected something more unruly yet was pleasantly surprised and taken with what came out of my desktop speakers. Blues and soul with Southern attitude, that’s Holywater; you need to hear this.
KEY CUTS: High On Love, If I Loved You Hard Enough, HardDrunk Holywater