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All The Love - Jolie Holland

Track by track, Jolie Holland strengthens her claim to be occupying a stool in that "joint in Mission Beach" along with fellow Texans Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt as well as W B Yeats and the rest of them (see previous post  plus Uncle Stylus page 57 Polly Bolton, Laura Cantrell et al) .

"All The Love " is from Holland's 2014 album "Wine Dark Sea" and reverberates with images of homeliness as she tries to incite her lover to return, the common phenomenon rattlesnakes taking the shade in hot mailboxes evoking curious memories of the Texas summer:

"Rattlesnake inside the box

and an old top hat on the stand,

rose silk and Chilean wine -

if you ever come back here again

I've got it for you

I'm not gonna lose

I won't lose my love........"

While the troubadour tradition of Clark and Van Zandt goes back to seventh century BCE Greece of Homer and Sappho, Jolie Holland's unique vocal style and luminous imagery has more the air of oracular poetry sung by Delphic priestesses, a soothsayer of rock and roll.

The Greek god Apollo was, amongst other things, god of music, dance and poetry, as well as knowledge, truth and prophecy and his most famous shrine and oracle was the one in Delphi, on Mount Parnassus.

Curiously, Jolie's statement on her website chimes with this. She writes:

"I became a worker in song so that I could participate in the mysteries. I wanted to be an alchemist: take the raw experience of life, and transform it into magic spells for perseverance, energy, flight.......People have told me how they’ve used my music to help themselves feel, heal, love, grieve, celebrate, dream and imagine."

The art of the troubadour is one of music, poetry and truth. As Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote:

"It is a happy thing that there is no royal road to poetry. The world should know by this time that one cannot reach Parnassus except by flying thither."

Fly thither to Komedia at Brighton tomorrow night to hear this exceptional artist in concert. See you there, on the slopes of Parnassus.


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