Jolie Holland

SXSW Live Shots

SXSW Live Shots
Photo By Gary Miller

Jolie Holland

Antone's, Friday, March 19San Francisco's Jolie Holland shouldn't be playing SXSW. In fact, Holland shouldn't be playing any festival or show nationwide right now. The reason for this is not lack of talent or embarrassment onstage. It's solely because Jolie Holland shouldn't be playing anytime in this decade – or the last eight for that matter. With songs lifted straight off Ozark Mountain front porches in the Twenties, Holland wailed and haunted an Antone's audience. Dressed like her songs sound, in a simple dress and tie-up shoes, she wasted no time in laying on the blues. A founding member of Vancouver's Be Good Tanyas, Holland has taken a step back in time from the bluegrass-pop oddities that group perfected. Her voice is a muted trumpet erupting from an old phonograph. "I would have Austin as my footstool and the world as my throne," the native Texan sang on "Poor Girl" off her soon-to-be-released Anti- debut, Escondida. Her voice transgressing octaves almost as if she were yodeling, Holland swept through waltzes and ballads with the speed of an Arkansas stream: smooth, swift, and without halting. With eyes closed and mouth wide, she told stories of lost love and found paths. "Old Fashion Morphine" was a tune the likes of which have only been heard from greats like Holiday and Fitzgerald. Holland is indeed a black soul sister trapped in the body of a white girl from Houston. The subtle drum brushing of Dave Mihaly and the summertime slide guitar of Brian Miller accentuated Holland's vocals and violins perfectly. But when original Be Good Tanyas Samantha Parton and Trish Klein joined the threepiece on mandolin and banjo, respectively, for two songs, another more exciting take on Depression-era jazz was born. Holland's stage show might not be much, but her voice alone summons ghosts from time long gone.

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw. Sign up for our South By-specific newsletter at austinchronicle.com/newsletters for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
Wednesday Interview
Wednesday Interview
Delta Spirit

Jim Caligiuri, March 20, 2015

Wednesday Picks & Sleepers
Wednesday Picks & Sleepers
First night SXSW Music recommendations and hints

March 20, 2015

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Rob Baird
After All (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Feb. 8, 2019

Texas Platters
Bruce Smith
'Til the Wheels Fall Off (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Feb. 8, 2019

More by Darcie Stevens
Phases & Stages
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
It's Blitz! (Record Review)

April 3, 2009

Spotlight: The Wooden Birds
Spotlight: The Wooden Birds
9pm, the Parish

March 20, 2009

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle