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Doc Holiday - This Is As Country As I'm Gonna Get
By: George Peden, CSO Staff Journalist

Doc Holiday has one of those voices. It’s a smoky, rough-and-raw life-etched growl. It’s a voice made for country—it pines, it pleads, it’s heartbreaking and it’s, as needed, joyful. And with an album cover showing the respected performer hunched, with a smoke wedged in the same hand as his drinking glass and with a bottle of JD in grabbing reach, the image of an expressive country crooner is complete.

With his first release in over two years and with two years in the making, this author, DJ, Grammy nominated producer, actor and recording studio owner comes with a style so often lacking in today’s assembled, conveyer-driven chaff wearing the country brand. But if this album is good – and it is – it’s because of a lifetime of being front and center of the music game. Holiday knows his stuff, proven by a claim he’s produced over 100 #1 hits for artists in various styles. His industry respect is more notable – he’s graced the covers of Cashbox (the only record producer to do so) and Billboard.

Now with his latest 12 tracker, the elements practiced over a lifetime show. Holiday knows how to wrap a tune tight or let it loose and hang when needed, all the while delivering melody and mood in a keen, listenable style.

Opening the album with the charged “Open Road”, a tale of cutting free from the shackles of suburbia, Holiday and his polished band of bass, guitar, drums and piano deliver the first of many good tracks. Stacked with rockers, listen out for the radio familiar “Mobile Home,” the pounded and edgy “What Turns You On” and the story-line of “Go West Son” –they’re all fan friendly cuts.

But while Holiday can raise a storm with mild shuffles and tempered rockers, his musical diversity squarely hits the bullseye when he tackles a ballad. There’s misery in the notes. There’s sadness in the lines. There’s an appealing ache to his voice; simply, he touches the listener. “Where Were You” is a proof in point. The piano and harmony-laced heartbreaker is a country hurt telling of a lady gone, only to return with a changed heart, confronted with our left and lonely asking: “Where were you when I was in love?” It’s a killer song that pulls tight the experiences, if brave enough to admit, we’ve all probably lived…and survived.

An album standout weeper is “I Can’t Take My Heart Anywhere”. Again, Holiday paints the misery of a past catching up. He does it with vocal honesty and style. He rambles through the despair with a melodic confidence that tells: these may be the worst of times, but I won’t buckle. They’re sentiments captured fully on the orchestrated “Life Is For The Living,” with advisory lyrics sharing the need to grab the moment, love someone, and live a creed promoting acceptance and trust, the tune nails it.

Do yourself a favor. Check out one of the better independent releases this year. Check out the Doc. This may be as Country as he gets, and if it is, then, that’s fine. There are no complaints from this fan.

Official Site: www.DocHoliday.tv  

This Is As Country As I'm Gonna Get song list:

1: Open Road 
2: I Never 
3: Mobile Home 
4: Breakin’ In A Broken Heart 
5: What Turns You On 
6: Where Were You 
7: Go West Son 
8: Life Is For The Living 
9: It All Comes Back To Me 
10: I Can’t Take My Heart Anywhere 
11: Weak At Heart 
12: Amnesia 

 

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