OUTSIDELEFT don’t really really do the preview thing for records or anything else. But I guess iconoclast Lonnie Holley is the worthy exception. Lonnie’s next record, Oh Me Oh My, is out on March 10th from one of my fave labels Jagjaguwar. The first single, the title track Oh Me Oh My features Michael Stipe, you can hear it below.
The LP, said to be all at once elegant and ferocious, stirring and a BALM, features a cavalcade of additional guest stars too, including, Sharon Van Etten (“None of Us Have But a Little While”), Moor Mother (“I Am Part of the Wonder,” “Earth Will Be There”), Justin Vernon of Bon Iver (“Kindness Will Follow Your Tears”) and Rokia Koné (“If We Get Lost They Will Find Us”).
Holley’s harrowing youth and young manhood in the Jim Crow South are well-told at this point — taken away from his family as a child by a burlesque dancer who ultimately left him in the care of the proprietors of a whiskey house; his abuse at the infamous Alabama Industrial School for Negro Children (he is a primary subject of Unreformed, a new podcast from iHeartMedia); the destruction of his remarkable art environment by the city of Birmingham. But, as mentioned, Holley’s music is less a performance of pain endured and more a display of perseverance, of relentless hope, of Thumbs Up For Mother Universe.
Holley reflects, “My art and my music are always closely tied to what is happening around me, and the last few years have given me a lot to thoughtsmith about. When I listen back to these songs I can feel the times we were living through.”
Meanwhile, Holley’s visual art is in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and National Gallery of Art.
Oh Me Oh My Full Track List
2. I Am A Part Of The Wonder (with Moor Mother)
3. Oh Me, Oh My (with Michael Stipe)
4. Earth Will Be There (with Moor Mother)
5. Mount Meigs
6. Better Get That Crop In Soon
7. Kindness Will Follow Your Tears (with Bon Iver)
8. None Of Us Have But A Little While (with Sharon Van Etten)
9. If We Get Lost They Will Find Us (with Rokia Koné)
10.I Can’t Hush
Main Lonnie Holley image by Tim Duffy
Lower Lonnie by David Raccuglia
Pre Order Lonnie Holley Oh Me Oh My here⇒