by Amy RayAmy Ray


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Prior to 2014's highly regarded Goodnight Tender, Amy Ray had spent her career, both solo and with fellow Indigo Girl Emily Saliers, dancing around the margins of various American roots traditions. The Indigo Girls' music has always been rooted in folk, and Ray's solo albums have often taken the form of rough-hewn Southern punk and indie rock with occasional mandolins and rootsy adornments that implied her Georgia upbringing without ever really approaching anything that could be called country. When she finally let loose with Goodnight Tender, it was Ray approaching Americana in her own maverick style, borrowing bits of classic outlaw country attitude and raw mountain music and infusing it with a sort of hard-won grace and the seemingly eternal punk spirit that is her hearth fire. Following four years later in its footsteps is her sixth album, Holler, a hearty country-soul masterwork that treads similar rural routes and offers up some of the most organic and cohesive songwriting of Ray's career. Working again with producer Brian Speiser and her core live band, Holler is by and large an analog effort, recorded mostly live to tape at Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville, North Carolina. A deep roster of impressive guests like Vince Gill, Alison Brown, Lucy Wainwright Roche, Derek Trucks, Justin Vernon, and Brandi Carlile populate the 14 tracks, all lending their signature talents in a collaborative way without distracting too much from the bigger picture. More arranged and thematic than anything she's done before in her solo career, Holler begins with an instrumental prelude ("Gracie's Dawn") that is equal parts old-time Southern waltz and classic Nashville countrypolitan, introducing the sonic palette of pedal steel, strings, piano, and most notably, the big horn stacks that appear throughout the rest of the album. The heavy brass element, which adds weight and attitude to cuts like the defiant Southern identity statement "Sure Feels Good Anyway" and the raucous band rave-up "Sparrow's Boogie," was inspired by Jim Ford's 1969 cult classic Harlan County, according to Ray. The sparrow reappears later on in the beautiful ballad "Sparrow's Lullaby," while the linked "Old Lady Interlude" and "Old Lady Dreaming" furthers add to Holler's thematic element, tying the overall sequence together in interesting ways. Throughout it all, Ray's powerful voice delivers personal ruminations, affirmations, history lessons, and the fiery politicized missives and cultural reflections that come from a lifetime of activism. More than anything, though, Holler has heart and soul and its richness and depth make for one of the best releases of her career.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/28/2018
Label: Daemon Records
UPC: 0767691906126
catalogNumber: 19061
Rank: 21061

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Amy Ray   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals
Alison Brown   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo
Jim Brock   Percussion,Drums
Vince Gill   Harmony
Rutha Harris   Guest Appearance
David Ralicke   Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Derek Trucks   Electric Guitar
Oliver Wood   Harmony
Kofi Burbridge   Piano,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer,Hammond B3
Chris Wood   Harmony
Jano Rix   Harmony
Adrian Carter   Fiddle,Violin,Vocals,Harmony,Octave Fiddle
Phil Cook   Harmony
Brian Speiser   Horn,Vocals,Harmony
Jordan Katz   Trumpet
Justin Ray   Trumpet
Brandi Carlile   Harmony
Kerry Brooks   Mandolin,Electric Bass,fender rhodes,Upright Bass,Wurlitzer
Justin Vernon   Harmony
Jeff Fielder   Acoustic Guitar,Dobro,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Upright Bass,Harmony
Lyndsay Pruett   Violin
Shaunte Palmer   Trombone
Garrick Smith   Baritone Saxophone
Ben Holst   Harmony
Matt Smith   Acoustic Guitar,Dobro
Franklin Keel   Cello
Lucy Wainwright Roche   Harmony
Jordan Hamlin   Trumpet,Horn,French Horn
Matt Williams   Viola
Alex Bradley   Trumpet

Technical Credits

Alison Brown   Arranger
Jim Brock   Arranger
David Ralicke   Horn Arrangements
Amy Ray   Arranger,Composer,Inside Photo
Kofi Burbridge   Horn Arrangements
Brook Sutton   Engineer
Adrian Carter   Arranger,Composer,String Arrangements
Brian Speiser   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
Jordan Katz   Horn Arrangements
Kerry Brooks   Arranger,Composer,Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
Jeff Fielder   Arranger,Composer,Inside Photo
Denise Plumb   Artwork
Bobby Tis   Engineer
Matt Smith   Arranger,Composer
Matt Rausch   Engineer
James Wallace   Engineer
Carrie Schrader   Back Cover,Cover Photo
Ed McRee   Engineer
Sean Patrick Quackbush   Engineer

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