Holland K. Smith is a guitar player/songwriter who has put together a CD that you will find in the blues section of your local CD store, but contains a lot of music that also contains elements of jazz and swing within the ten original songs penned by Smith. Two additional songs are also on the set, one written by B.B. King (Beautician Blues) and one written by Jimmy Forest (Night Train).
Opening the set is "Walking Heart Attack", a solid Texas shuffle with a good dose of horns and the requisite blues guitar licks. The guitar work is not quite as fluid as some other players, but generally works within the songs as the emphasis on this CD is on the songs, rather than over the top guitar playing. "Deacon's Son" is a slow blues with honky tonk piano that you can imagine hearing in an early blues bar somewhere. "Little Boy Blues" is a medium tempo swing blues with a jazzy guitar style that really reminds me of some early to mid 60's jazz guitar players mixed together with nursery rhyme lyrics. "Queen Of Sheba" is a up tempo blues tune with horn work that reminds me of Sly & the Family Stone. "This, That and The Other" is a up tempo jazz/swing style instrumental that again reminds me of early to mid 60's jazz guitar playing. This song is just a fun little tune that provides enough stylistic changes on the CD to keep it interesting. "Cindy Lee" sounds like a song from an Elvis Presley record with it's mid 50's rock & roll sound. It could also be described as being similar to Bill Haley and The Comets song "Shake Rattle & Roll".
Bottom line - this is an good CD, full of a mix of texas blues, 50's,60's rock and swing blues. If you like mid 50's rock & roll, 60's jazz, or similar music, then you should like this CD. If you like the retro swing style of music, then this CD will entertain you also.
Holland K. Smith - Guitar & vocals
Bass - Eric Mathew Przygocki
Drums - Kevin Schermerhorn
Harmonica (Fro Cryin' Out Loud) - Hash Brown
Horns (Walking Heart Attack & queen of sheba) - The White Trash Horns (Jon Smith & steve Howard)
Web Site www.Texasblues.com/Topcat
Phone: (972) 484-4141 FAX:(972) 620-8333
Visit my Web Page "http://home.sprynet.com/~murf01/"
Visit the GUITAR FACTORY "http://home.sprynet.com/~murf01/gftop.htm"
Visit Josh Smith & the frost - "http://www.joshsmithandthefrost.com"
This review is copyright © 2000 by Robert T. Murphy, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.