The Holy City Cold Heart Revival
w/ Lindsay Holler & The Dirty Kids, Kentucky Shoes, The Silos, Caitlin Cary & Lynn Blakey, LASSO, Runaway Dorothy, The V-Tones
Sat. Nov. 10
$15 ($12 adv.)
1977 Maybank Hwy.
Lyndsay Holler & The Dirty Kids
Dirty Kids from the album Love Gone Awry
By name, it may resemble an old-school, Bible-thumpin' canvas-covered crusade, but the second annual Holy City Cold Heart Revival is a gathering of a different sort. Organized by local songwriters and music enthusiasts Jamie Resch and Lindsay Holler, this year's Cold Heart Revival is an all-night event featuring seven of the region's most original alt-country, folk-pop, and Americana acts.
"We're trying to get some different takes on Southern songwriting and originality more than anything," Holler says. "We're interested in what people are doing with the country aspect, whether it's by manipulating with different styles or with different instruments or whatever."
The event takes place at the Pour House with performances (in order) from local uke/jug band the V-Tones, N.Y.C. group Runaway Dorothy, N.Y.C. Americana vets The Silos, Resch and her tangy country/folk-pop band Kentucky Shoes, N.C.-based songwriters Caitlin Cary & Lynn Blakey (both of Tres Chicas), Holler and her eccentric alt-country/chamber-pop band The Dirty Kids. Vocal ensemble LASSO are scheduled for appearances between sets.
"I met Lindsay a few years ago at one of her shows," remembers Resch. "She did a Tom Waits cover, which was exciting to hear. We briefly discussed the idea of putting a Tom Waits cover band together. We've been good friends ever since. She and I played with a friend named Dave Parnell [of Runaway Dorothy] and wrote a lot of songs in a short amount of time. That developed into Kentucky Shoes, which was more of a fun outlet than a serious band."
The Shoes includes Resch on vocals, guitar, and banjo; Holler on vocals and accordian; Darby Long on vocals, mandolin, and singing saw; Jeremy Cain on lap steel; and Emily Painter on vocals and keyboard.
"We realized that there were other groups in town that shared the same love for old country, blues, and melancholy — and the older instruments used for those styles," Resch says. "So the idea for these Cold Heart Revivals came about."
"We started it at Cumberland's last year," says Holler. "It was our first time, and we had our first-time kinks. We wanted to make it bigger for the second year. Jamie and I have been organizing everything. Alex Harris at the Pour House has been great about stepping in and helping out ... and not stepping in. It's been a pretty cohesive arrangement so far."
Singer/fiddler Caitlin Cary is known best, perhaps, among Americana fans for her work with N.C. band Whiskeytown. In addition to her solo efforts, she recently stayed busy with Tres Chicas, a trio featuring Cary, singer/guitarist Tonya Lamm (ex-Hazeldine), and singer/guitarist Lynn Blakey (ex-Oh OK, Let's Active, Whiskeytown, and Glory Fountain). The band's new LP, Bloom, Red & The Ordinary, is full of bold vocal harmonies.
The Silos are one of the strongest, most expressive rock groups to have emerged in the wake of the post-punk college radio days of the 1980s. Led by Walter Salas-Humara, the band first started playing a jangly, rough-edged style of folk-rock in 1985. They initially released two independent discs and hit the semi-big time in 1990 with a self-titled album on RCA.
The current, solidified version of the band features Salas-Humara on guitar and vocals alongside bassist and pedal steel player Drew Glackin, and percussionist Konrad Meissner. A stripped-down version of Glackin and Salas-Humara will perform an acoustic set at this event. The Silos and the Caitlin Cary & Lynn Blakey duo will do their own sets and collaborate with each other for a grand finale just past midnight.
The plan for Saturday's event has each band on the bill playing a 45-minute set with sets from LASSO between each one.
"LASSO is pretty much an a cappella gospel choir that plays weird shows now and then," says Holler. "It started with me and A Decent Animal. We're kind of treating it as a Greek chorus that will introduce each act with a gospel song, and maybe sit on a few songs on a few sets. There'll be between 15 and 20 people involved, which is interesting. It's very loose, which is kind of what's fun about it."
The entire endeavor seems like good-natured fun, and not so cold hearted...
"The 'cold heart' thing stems from Jamie and I, when we started writing songs together," explains Holler. "There was some sadness, and when you're drinking beer at Cumberland's and joking around a bit, things come up. The cold hearts thing came up from that. The revival atmosphere comes from growing up in the South and encountering that kind of thing. It's also like a turning point, you know? Changing things around."
"We're not cold-hearted; we're just bitter!" laughs Resch. "I think it comes in part from the best old country songs and influence — the songs about broken hearts and being sad and lonely. A lot of Lindsay's songs are kind of in the same vein. In a way, it's a revival of older sounds and an older generation of music ... and an older spirit, so to speak."