Darryl Holter – West Bank Gone

January 01, 1970

(213 Music)




Being from Minnesota, the land of Bob Dylan’s early origins,
might make music some sort of birthright, because for Darryl Holter, that
roostsy, narrative style seems to come quite naturally. On this, his second
album, this northern plains native son plows deeply into his homegrown environs
and comes up with a winning set of reflective story songs that borrow heavily
from formative encounters with early musical heroes. Indeed, the spirits of
Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Spider John Koerner, and other rugged troubadours are
invested heavily in this material, both in the descriptive style and in its
attachment to middle America. Perhaps that’s why Holter sounds so assured; in
recalling his early admiration of the people and places that birthed his most
precious musical memories, he offers an autobiographical glimpse into the
dimly-lit clubs and coffee bars where friends would gather, musicians would
bond, and relationships were spawned from the same fused experiences. As a
result, songs like “Two For Each Other,” “The Mixers” and “Birthday in
Beertown” take on an added resilience in both their assertive stance and the
tender connection. Freely mixing folk, blues and country, he surveys
traditional templates throughout, from the freewheeling stomp of “The Trouble
Is” to the brassy surge of “5 AM.” Telling too, is his choice of covers, as
expressed in a beautifully evocative take on Dylan’s “Girl From the North Country”
and the celebratory surge of Gram Parson’s ringing “One Hundred Years From
Now.” Having that kinship to his forebears etched in each of these tracks makes
West Bank Gone a vital travelogue
intrinsically clasped to the heartland.


Each Other,” “Girl From the North Country,”
“One Hundred Yearrs From Now” LEE ZIMMERMAN


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