Holly Golightly is back with cohort Lawyer Dave for a second Brokeoffs collaboration, Dirt Don't Hurt, a follow-up to their winning 2007 album You Can't Buy a Gun When You're Crying. The project was conceived as a low-key, home recorded one-off, and ended up garnering a lot of praise. That kept the pair on the road for quite some time after the album's release, but not long enough to keep the ever-prolific Golightly from finding time to record at a studio in Spain.
Even better for American fans, this higher profile outside garage rock circles has led to a domestic release of the new album on Transdreamer Records, with the LP version boasting a gatefold cover and super snazzy splash vinyl. Much of Golightly's past work has been available stateside only as imports, with the exception of a few scattered releases sneaking out on Sympathy for the Record Industry -- or even smaller labels.
Dirt Don't Hurt maintains the stripped-down, largely acoustic sound of its predecessor. Golightly's cool vocal delivery is just the trick on slow burners like "For All This" and "Three Times Under," but overall it's not exactly a laid back album. There may be very little actual drums, but the banging on other percussion instruments or whatever's laying around covers that quite nicely. And how could any album containing a song called "Getting High For Jesus" be mellow?
That being said, though, fans who know Golightly from the '60s-sounding band Thee Headcoatees may not find a connection to her current sound. It's more reminiscent of Lonnie Donegan's skiffle boom records, offering original songs along with fired-up re-interpretations of country, folk, blues and traditional material. In England, this sound made Donegan a huge pop star back in the late '50s, but if he had surfaced today he'd probably be called alt-country and never have a hit record. How else to explain why Golightly isn't topping the charts somewhere, no matter what style she's creating music in? (Transdreamer Records 2008)