Friday, February 22nd
Civic pride

Amanda was on hand for the Honda Civic Tour's stop in NJ. Check out her review overall.

Triple pleasure!

Curtis Peoples, Keatons Simons, and Tony Lucca rocked the Bitter End in New York. Cris has her take on the concert.

Opening act steals from main attraction in Florida

Meagan was on hand at the Boca Raton, FL stop for Jonas Brothers. Read her take.

JT makes rousing return to Chicago

Two guest writers caught Justin Timberlake's tour stop at Chicago's Allstate Arena.

More concert reviews
Bubblegum trashed for earthy, acoustic-driven pop/rock

Alan gives two ratings for Mandy Moore's new acoustic and lyric-driven album 'Wild Hope.'

One half of former Norwegian pop duo breaks free with US solo debut

Alan reviews the US debut of former M2M vocalist Marion Raven.

Joss Stone retools sound for a strong third effort

Emily gives her take on the third effort for Joss Stone.

Maroon 5 retools and recrafts sound for splendid second LP

Alan reviews the sophomore effort from Maroon 5.

Indiana native completely sparkles in major-label debut

Cris gives her take on the breakthrough major-label debut of Indiana native Jon McLaughlin.

More reviews

Josh Holley
Josh Holley: "Self-Titled"

Jack Johnson meets southern cooking with a dash of blues in EP
Josh HolleyGeorgia is a certainly a fertile ground for some of the greatest music the music world has ever seen.  Recently, you got John Mayer (he formulated much of his music while living and toiling in Atlanta's music scene) and Ludacris.  But Georgia has brought out  like Ray Charles, Otis Redding, Travis Tritt, Trisha Yearwood, TLC, and of course the great and uncomparable James Brown.  Pop in the latest CD from Savannah's very own Josh Holley and someday he might be up there with some of the best acts to ever come out of Georgia.

Josh Holley is a 27 year old talent out from the warm grounds of Savannah, GA.  His music, according to Myspace is “acoustic, folk, and Christian,” but after listening to his new EP called 'Self Titled,' this reviewer would put him more in line of “Jack Johnson meets Southern cooking with a liberal dash of the Blues.”  In fact there are times in the 7-track EP that he does sound like Hawaii's native son, very light but a hynoptizing drawl and this reviewer thinks the lyrics most resemble Jack's, very folk-like and steeped in regional themes.

The album begins with the very folksy 'Tell the Folks,” which has a very nice guitar arrangement and the lyrics are very much down home Southern with allusions to life down in the deep South.  This song sets the tone for the rest of the album.  'Set Your Mind At Ease' is probably the best track on the album and the one that really sounds very much Jack Johnson-like but it also adds a very interesting element to the song.  He also draws a bit from blues legends like native son Ray Charles, but the lyrical sense maybe a bit closer to Chicago's Buddy Guy.  Very complex song, but it rolls over magnificently and that would be the highlight track of the EP.  Actually you get the blues feel on all the tracks but 'Set Your Mind' is certainly a blues-worthy track.

Overall, this EP shines and Josh's talents really shows; he is one of those rare people in music that can write and play magnificently.  The guitar-playing is very well-done and the lyrics are quite refreshing and original; there's storybook-like feel to the lyrics. And, the deep-rooted allusions to Southern-fried blues adds a wonderful and creative element to the acoustic pop/rock base the Holley has crafted. Someday, he'll make Georgia very proud and this reviewer hopes that this isn't the last time the name Josh Holley is anywhere.

Final word: For those looking for a fresh, new, and very good material, then you need to dip into the indie/underground and buy yourself a copy of 'Self Titled," which according to CDBaby.com is out of stock. This should tell you where he stands with his impressive following, who have clearly waited for this for quite some time. On some level, he may be better than John Mayer (dare I say?) is executing the blues-pop style. The only thing I didn't like was the constant channeling of Jack Johnson; at times he would have been better served to lose the channel. Some of the songs fit the kind of mold Jack puts himself in, but at the same time, I think there were a couple tracks where it didn't fit. The best track is no. 4, a definite must-listen. Overall, pretty good EP and I hope to hear more of Josh Holley...certainly has the potential to get on the big stage someday and join an impressive list of talent, home-grown or transplanted from the state of Georgia.

Name: "Self-Titled-" Josh Holley
Label: Soul Bazaar
Release date: January 2007
Rating: 4.0 out of 5

Alan HoAlan Ho is the chief head of Musiqtone. If you agree, disagree, or want to say something to him, please contact him at alanho@musiqtone.com.

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