Over the span of her career, Jolie Holland has knotted together a century of American song—jazz, blues, soul, rock and roll—into some stew that is impossible to categorize with any conventional critical terminology. This is her burden and her gift, to know all of these American songs of the last ten decades in her head and her heart, and to have to wrestle with their legacy.
In addition to her expansive solo career, Holland was one of the founding members of the Be Good Tanyas, a folk trio that achieved cult status with their debut album Blue Horse (2002). She has since teamed up with fellow former bandmate Samantha Parton to form Jolie Holland & Samantha Parton. The duo released a new album, Wildflower Blues, on their own label, Cinquefoil Records, in September 2017. The album wanders from rural blues to folk and ragtime, from smoky jazz to emotive R&B and fearless rock & roll.
“I really like going at things from a lot of diverse angles,” says Holland. “The idea of genre is really unattractive to me.”
She and Parton cover Townes Van Zandt’s “You Are Not Needed Now” and Michael Hurley’s “Jocko’s Lament,” and Holland rewrites Dylan’s “Minstrel Boy,” adding verses about two poets—William Blake and Steven Jesse Bernstein—whose work “helped me crystallize my view of the world.”
In late 2017 and into 2018 the duo will tour throughout North America and Europe, performing songs that attest to their creative spirit and the friendship that thrives within the song and without. “The spirit of it is all about collaboration and friendship,” says Parton. “To me, more than even the songs themselves, it’s all about what went into this record—the history and the friendships and all the different roads that Jolie and I have traveled to end up making music together again. I think we know that is the beginning of more collaboration between us. I feel like this is our first album.”
For more information about Jolie Holland, please visit her official site.
For more information about Jolie, Holland & Samantha Parton, please visit their official site.