Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., April 23, 2004
Bonny HolmesBoxful of Trouble While not quite in the same league as Don Walser, who reached his full potential and began his music career in earnest after 60, local Bonny Holmes releasing her first CD at the age of 50 is just as intriguing. Too short at just nine songs, Boxful of Trouble finds Holmes singing of love, loss, heartache, and revenge in a way that's strong, kindhearted, and brimming with life. A more accurate comparison of Holmes' music is to that of Lucinda Williams. Like Williams, Holmes possesses a catch in her voice that adds a fitting hint of emotion to her songs. She also shares Williams' fondness for rock, soul, folk, and Texas, and utilizes those influences in a way that's most appealing. In fact, that's what makes Boxful of Trouble so attractive: There's the high stepping, mandolin-fueled title track; the lazy loping "Two Windows"; the Tex-Mex spiced "From the Moon"; and "Currents of Love," Memphis soul stew. A great deal of this disc's success can be attributed to producer Scrappy Jud Newcomb, who's been making just this kind of jigsaw puzzle music on his own and with others for years. With a core band of Newcomb on guitar, Dana Myzer on drums, and Cornbread on bass, as well as guests like Walter Tragert, Chip Dolan, Eric Hisaw, and Oliver Steck, Holmes has cut one of the best Austin debuts this year. Let's hope she doesn't wait another 50 years for its follow-up.