Longtime North Carolina rocker brings it with a mellow solo set.
Mark Holland has been around for a while, making music and telling stories with Jule Brown, Jennyanykind, and now on his own. A purveyor of finely crafted Americana, Holland is crafty with his songs, alternately trading between lonesome confessionals and deftly worded metaphors. Putting his recent reunion with Jennyanykind aside for the time being, Holland has released Rough Cuts. Like the title suggests, this album is a “rough” collection of 11 DIY-style tracks that feature Holland in his element as he fires off low-key testaments to the fears, hopes, and desires that lie within us all. Some of the album could benefit from an additional punch from a fuller sounding backing band, but like most musicians of his caliber and standing, Holland goes alone, undoubtedly basking in the freedom allowed from working in this new musical landscape devoid of any label demands. Plus, Holland’s status and longevity has afforded him good connections, evidenced by the Dean Wareham electric guitar assistance scattered throughout. The music landscape needs guys like Mark Holland to keep the flame alive. Here’s to more releases and shows in the year ahead.