Any band whose moniker hails from a Dylan song is worth a listen. Hollis Brown’s debut Nothing & the Famous No One pinches bits and pieces of records they grew up listening to from Buddy Guy to CSNY; proving that the raw intensity of fifty years ago is not ready to fade away.
Lyricism pulls you in, with empathetic subjects and striking arrangements; “Gypsy Black Cat,” doesn’t disappoint with its Stones-like whisper. The title track has the ability to hook for weeks with the groove bassist Dillon DeVito cooks and on “It Aint Me,” Mike Montali’s croon pacifies any victim of unrequited love. Enthusiastically “Ride On the Train” feels like the first time you drive across state borders and realize the endless opportunities ahead in life. Like its lyrics suggest the open road, left New York playing clubs in the U.S.A., the Queens boys stop at Vermont’s Frendly Gathering Festival and Nashville’s Mercy Lounge. Altruistically, the band played a benefit aboard the NYC Sunset Harbor Cruise, creating the perfect vibe for a night adrift the Hudson. Their take on CCR’s “Green River” was so electrifying, you could actually see the sound waves bouncing off their instruments.
– Melissa Caruso