Reviewed by Abby Johnston, Fri., Nov. 1, 2013
Ali HolderIn Preparation for Saturn's Return
Ali Holder, recent graduate student at UT, chose a different college town to record her debut, In Preparation for Saturn's Return. That road trip to Oxford, Miss., paid off, too. Bagging the brightest musical movements throughout the South, the 27-year-old singer and her band blend Mississippi blues, New Orleans brass, and, a given for the Texas native, Southwestern country, all topped with an R&B-rounded alto. Holder's measured vocals are convincing in each form they take: the tears-in-my-beers country of "Drinking Double," the blues smoke of "Falling Up," and even the simplicity of free jazz cut "Moon." Compositionally, her band zooms between the genre buffet with ease and smooth transition. We hope to see more of Holder, even after Saturn's Return.