Michael Holloway is a singer/guitar player/song writer who has put together a very well produced CD of mostly laid back blues. Holloway wrote 14 of the 15 songs on the CD, the only exception being an instrumental cover of "Ain't No Sunshine" by Bill Withers. He provides some solid song writing and solid supporting guitar work on this debut CD. Holloway is more of a singer/song writer than a guitar player, so if you are looking for a lot of blazing guitar work, ala Stevie Ray Vaughan, Smokin' Joe Kubek or similar playing, your not going to find much of it here. Holloway also does quite a bit of dobro slide work on this CD providing some Johnny Winter and Sonny Landreth style solos on a few of the songs.
"Labor of Love" the opening track starts off with some interesting slide work and is one of the more upbeat songs on the CD. Many of the songs have a Jeff Healy and R&B ballad quality to them such as "Hopelessly In Love" and the opening track. "Red Thunderbird," a song about Bill Elliott of NASCAR fame and "Ten Most Wanted" have a decidedly Z.Z. Top/Texas blues feel to them. "King of the Blues" is his tribute to Albert King and stays true to King's style of blues. "What Are We Fighting For" has a heavy bass/drum beat and discusses contemporary problems and is one of the more interesting songs on the CD. "The Sun Came Up This Morning" sounds like it could have come directly from Robert Johnson with its single slide guitar and solo vocal, sounding much like it was recorded with a single microphone in a small room.
The bottom line: This is a CD that will grow on you the more you listen to it. If you like Albert, B.B. and Freddie King, with influences from Johnny Winter, Sonny Landreth, Robert Johnson and Z. Z. Top, you will like this CD. If you're looking for aggressive guitar work and SRV Texas style blazing music, you might want to look elsewhere.
P.O. Box 1128
Hendersonville, TN 37077-1128
This review is copyright © 1999 by Robert T. Murphy, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.