Going Down Fighting
Bonny Holmes has released her second independent release on her own label (Lucky Child) and has once again denied categorization with her songs of misguided love, streetlights, bridges, horses, morphine, and ice cream. Taking a chance on the return of the 'single' Holmes focused on each song individually rather than an album concept. Using four distinctly different producers was risky, with the possibility of the album losing cohesiveness and continuity. But Holmes' soulful voice (soulful in the ways of the mountains and cornfields) and a strong supporting cast provide connection, and the album plays smoothly and remains interesting to the very special end. Recorded at Jumping Dog Studio in Austin, Texas, Ron Flynt's touch of magic is all over the record including full production on the pop sounds of A Thousand Horses, in the bass lines and keyboard parts, and in engineering and co-production on everything. Scrappy Jud Newcomb put his special brand of musicality on songs Streetlights, We Were Laughing (with backing vocals by the gifted Walter Tragert), and Someone Like You. You can hear Newcomb's signature guitar work throughout the record as well. Austin singer/songwriter/guitarist Eric Hisaw produced with Bonny for the first time, adding his exceptional rocking grit and melodic guitar on title song Rocking Chair, country ballad She's Blonde, and Dancing on the Edge. And finally, RG Stark, who has been producing his own records for years, contributed his considerable talents. His unique sense of space, instrumentation, and harmony adds a special edge to songs Going Home, Dangerous Kiss, Kissing Bandit, Back to Grace (which he co-wrote), Cold Steel Blade, and Morphine and Ice Cream. Stark has been singing and playing guitar with Holmes onstage since 2001, and contributes much in the way of harmony vocals, guitar, mandolin, banjo, and trombone, among other things. Besides Tragert and Stark, vocalists Penny Jo Pullus and Bill Black add to the harmonies, and Flynt is also audible in several tracks. Black also performs regularly with Holmes onstage. Drummers Vicente Rodriguez and Mark Patterson keep it rocking and accordionist Chip Dolan contributes on Dancing on the Edge. This record is a labor of love, with art being the only goal, freeing Holmes, once again, to follow her muse and end up with a collection of songs completely her own. Each track tells a different story and opens a new door, and taken individually or as a whole, this group of songs is worth a listen or many.