Record Of The Week # 28

October 2, 2017

The Hollering Pines – Mansion Of Heartbreak

The Hollering Pines second album, Mansion Of Heartbreak, is a traditional Country joy. Hailing from Utah, not the most obvious home for Country music, this five piece band, complemented by guest musicians, have written twelve beautiful songs dripping with melodies, hooks and Emmylou Harris style sweet and joyful harmonies. As they say ‘what’s not to like’.

Despite their profile, which belies their talent and potential, then they have been together for some years and have toured supporting major artists. Individually they have their own projects but collectively they deserve some wider recognition and this is a great place to start your catch up if they’re new to you.

“Memory Of A Wild Heart” recounts the story of a marriage on the rocks and the desire to rekindle a wild heart – a place where it all started. Sisters Marie Bradshaw (acoustic guitar) and Kiki Jane Sieger (bass) take the vocals with Marie leading throughout. This track has brass gently in the background giving it a real swing.

So a great start but “These Walls” is an album highlight with an exquisite tune, harmony vocals and pedal steel. Strings provide a lush bed on which the ladies advise of their doubts over a long-term love. In fact you’d be searching your pockets for loose change to play this again on the honky tonk’s jukebox. Sublime.

“Mansion Of Heartbreak” takes us again down the ‘tortured souls’ route of Classic Country. Against a folk acoustic backing the girls weave their magic whilst M Horton Smith steps up with some attractive mandolin. Yet ominously electric guitar invents dark patterns in the background to give this title track the anchoring emotion the girls sing of.

Dylan Shore strikes a bluesy pose with a dirty electric guitar sound on “Blacktop Dusty Blues” and the girls jettison some sweetness for a little sass. However this is no genre switch: this is simply the best of Country Blues.

Bradshaw and Sieger’s beautiful dovetailing voices start “Tell Me You’re Leaving” acapella. Eventually the band starts up and leads a Country hoedown of a tune with Billy Contreras’ fiddle joining the band’s rockabilly.

The PR trills that The Hollering Pines are ‘singing songs of long nights, short lives and spilled chances’. I think you will agree.

If you’ve invested in Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters then this has a similar feel and direction. In my opinion there is no higher praise

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