Simple Truths and Pleasures
This is the third solo release by Michael Holland, from Carrboro, North Carolina. Michael's own musical career started around 1990 when, after a near fatal car accident, he and his twin brother founded the rock band Jennyanykind, which released several critically-acclaimed albums on Elektra/Time Warner, Yep Roc and other labels between 1992-2003. Burned out by many tours through 48 states, label changes from minors to majors and back and in a state of complete emptiness and sadness, he received the Harry Smith Anthology as a gift and it completely changed his view towards music. More than on his first solo release, Bootleggers Dream (Big Johns, 2003), this awakening is evident on his second album Tomorrows American Treasures (Sit-n-Spin, 2005) -- a great and very relaxed songwriter/folk record widely based on joyful rags. The album spent several months in the Top 10 of the National Bluegrass Airplay charts. His new masterpiece, Simple Truths and Pleasures is once again performed with members of the Big Fat Gap Bluegrass Band from NC -- the vast majority of it recorded live in the studio. More traditional than the previous record, the earthly songs reflect influences by Earl Scruggs, Blind Boy Fuller, Mississippi John Hurt, The Carter Family, Doc Watson and especially Hank Williams. The music is a perfect and very melodic mixture of truly timeless Southern musical forms: acoustic country, folk, bluegrass, honky tonk, old time string band, blues and gospel, led by Michael Holland's warm and haunting voice. Many of the song topics are personal and impressionistic, but some are topical in nature and chronicle figures in North Carolina history. These are songs to grow old with.