Singer-guitarist Holly Golightly likes playing at the Beachland Tavern so much, she can’t imagine a tour that doesn’t include a stop at the North Collinwood club.
“I would still come there even if they didn’t ask us to show up,” she says. “I don’t think they would hold it against me after all this time. I’d get a really nice supper out of it, if nothing else.”
Well, the club did ask her to show up. She plays there tonight at 8:30. Though she plays a mix of R&B and garage rock these days, she grew up listening to punk rock in the UK, where she joined outsider artist and poet Billy Childish in his garage rocking act the Del Monas, which then became Thee Headcoatees. Her association with Childish, in turn, helped her establish herself in the indie rock world and subsequently led to collaborations with critically acclaimed acts such as the White Stripes, Mudhoney and Rocket from the Crypt.
Hooking up with Lawyer Dave five years ago spawned the Brokeoffs, the misnamed one-man backing band that currently supports her in the studio and on the road. Her newest album, All Her Fault, which they recorded at their home studio in rural Georgia, features an equal quotient of garage rock rave-ups and lonesome ballads. She’s called it her “most rounded and complete album.”
“I just think it’s got good selections of stuff on it,” she says. “On the whole, I don’t think it’s monumentally different. I think there’s something of everything we like to do on there. I think that’s what it is. It’s got the fun stuff and it’s got the more intricate stuff as well.”
And it shows off her sense of humor. In “Bless Your Heart,” she pokes fun at today’s country singers and stars.
“It’s a bit tongue in check,” she says of the track. “We don’t get good radio reception where we live. You either have the preaching or the Glenn Beck shit. Or you get this mainstream country music. Those are the channels we get. It’s all a little bit phony. The people we know who are the target market for this stuff don’t buy it. They think it’s ridiculous too. I think the target market is suburban guys who bought four-wheel trucks but clean them every Sunday. The actual people they sing about aren’t buying that music. They aren’t buying any music. They’re too busy fucking working. It’s our little dig.”
And in the ramshackle tune “SLC,” she advises against visiting the conservative Salt Lake City, though she admits the band still includes the city as a tour stop. “Don’t get your hopes up in Salt Lake City/cause you ain’t gonna have a good time,” she sings in a nasally hillbilly voice that completely hides her British accent.
“It’s a joke we use pretty freely with each other,” she says. “When someone’s been pissy, you tell them if they keep up with that attitude, you’re dropping them off in Salt Lake City. That’s how we use it. However shitty you think something is, it could be worse. We’re playing there on this tour. We’ll change the lyrics to New York City when we get to Salt Lake City. You don’t even need to be there. The song just tells you everything you need to know.”
Golightly and Lawyer Dave live on a small ranch outside of Athens, Ga. where they take care of rescued horses. That makes it a bit complicated to head out on extensive tours, but Golightly says she still likes hitting the road.
“As long as people are asking me to do it, I’ll do it,” she says. “It doesn’t make a difference whether I’m recording or not. I’ll still be doing that. We’ve toured less and less because it does pose logistical problems that most musicians don’t have. It’s unusual for musicians to have that kind of responsibility. Of course, many are married and have children. When it comes to animals, that’s different.”