Amy Ray and her band were in the church early this year recording her new record, ‘Holler’. ‘Holler’ was recorded to 2” 24-track tape here at Echo Mountain, and it really sounds incredible. Featuring guest appearances from Derek Trucks, Vince Gill, The Wood Brothers, Brandi Carlile, Phil Cook, Justin Vernon, and Rutha Mae Harris.
The band and I recorded Holler live to analog tape at Echo Mountain Studio in Asheville, NC, over a 10-day period in January 2018. The album is inspired by traditional country, southern rock, mountain music, gospel and bluegrass. It fits in the Americana genre. The songs are all my own compositions and tell stories of late nights, love, addiction, immigration, despair, honkytonks, growing up in the south, touring for decades, being born in the midst of the civil rights movement, and the constant struggle to find balance in the life of a left-wing Southerner who loves Jesus, my homeland and its peoples. There is a tip of the hat to the great Jim Ford 1969 release, Harlan County. With songs inspired by, the film Winters Bone; and the Appalachian poet Byron Herbert Reece; as well as the great writer, Toni Cade Bambara. Following my first 2014 country record, which was my 5th solo studio release, this record is a natural progression from the stillness of a Goodnight Tender to the friction, freedom and restlessness of a Holler, with the addition of strings and horns to bring the swagger.