Americana rock quartet Hollis Brown will be making their way through New York this week and next, to play their first three of only a handful of live dates listed on their website so far. The first stop will be this Friday, January 19, at Garcia’s at The Capitol Theatre, and the second will be at City Winery NYC, on Tuesday January 23, as part of that intimate venues’s recently conceived music series, Voices on the Hudson. The following night, on January 24, they will perform at NYC’s The DL, as part of a pre-party for the 60th Annual Grammy Awards.
Named after the star of the Bob Dylan tune “The Ballad of Hollis Brown,” the Queens-born band have set themselves upon the front lines of rock and roll, dishing out robust, honest roots music, something they consider to be sorely lacking from the popular radio airwaves today. The band has five albums under their belt (one of which is a tribute to The Velvet Underground’s Loaded) and are currently at work on a sixth, which is set to be released sometime this year.
Live, they bring an old fashioned sense of gusto to the stage that fits the spirit of their material, and they’ve brought the show everywhere from Red Rocks to across the European continent. These next few performances, like the Garcia’s show this Friday, will be a unique chance to experience their kind of grit and energy up close and personal.
En route to the empire state, Hollis Brown were able to give The Poke Around a brief Q&A on their musical perspective.
What was the first musical artist or band that impacted your youth in a big way?
The Beatles. They had it all! The way they would sing together just blew my mind!
What’s something Hollis Brown fans can expect to get with the new album?
We definitely have grown as a band alot. It’s the best record we have done yet. We wanted to make a modern record that still holds up compared to all the great rock records of the past.
What’s something you’ve learned about the recording process that you’d give as advice to up and coming bands out there?
I think for us, being organic and not being afraid to push our sound in a different direction has helped us.
In terms of modern rock and roll, what do you strive to put in your music that you think is missing from the ears of today’s listeners?
I think that the songs and the edge is missing. Often times artists have one or the other but to have both, that’s the real sound!
The “Rain Dance” video was a very neat idea. What inspired that?
We have recieved such great support all around the world, and have made real connections with people who like our band. It’s important for us to have real relationships and look at fans as friends not as some number on a computer.
What’s the best place you’ve played across the pond?
They are all great for different reasons. Hard to choose honestly.
According to you guys, what’s the best song you perform live, and why?
I think trying out these new songs live has been the most fun. It’s the most exciting to see how people respond!
Jerry, Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, Lake Street Dive. You get to work in the studio with one, perform live with one, and compose a song with one.
Jerry Garcia: Perform
Gillian Welch and David Rawlings: Write
Lake Street Dive: Studio
To check out more of Hollis Brown, visit their website at https://www.hollisbrown.com.
To purchase tickets for their Garcia’s show this Friday, visit https://www.thecapitoltheatre.com/event/1609837-hollis-brown-port-chester/