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By Dusty Ray
The Holler!’s latest album, Gratitude, is just plain good. The sweet harmonies and laid-back songs could only have come from a group so closely connected with the landscape of Colorado. The group’s songwriting is second-to-none, creating a diverse album that holds quick to its mountain roots. There is some subtle magic going on here as The Holler! swiftly and thoroughly draws you in with their one-of-a-kind lyricism and finger-pickin’ goodness.
Gratitude is a strange mixture of The Meat Puppets’ sound and Ween’s 12 Golden Country Greats; the tracks roll along with an ease that keeps the listener engrossed and wanting more long after the album is over. The combination of folk, country, bluegrass and reggae ensures a wide palate of tastes to choose from.
“Yellow Moon” grabs your attention with knee-slapping cadence, and the imagery of the lyrics paints a vivid picture of good-ole country times. The guitar and mandolin play off of each other during a brief solo section, showcasing the talent of the band. Everything is well balanced, and the song doesn’t run on beyond its means.
“Duck’s Back” delves into a reggae-like groove, but still manages to maintain the magnetism of a bluegrass song. It is about the lessons learned from one’s parents, and the maturity instilled by their wisdom; “Like my father told me/and great men before told him/let it roll off like water on a duck’s back/and don’t forget to wear your grin.”
Overall, Gratitude is a brave album, jumping between genres while still keeping The Holler!’s unique sound at the forefront. Pick up a copy of this one; you’ll be grateful you did.