Darryl Holter at The Seven Grand in Los Angeles, CA
Review, May 25, 2013 – Dan Sherman, Eye On Country
A couple of weeks ago I read in the Downtown News that Darryl Holter was playing at Seven Grand and I thought I would stop by and listen. I really enjoy that place—it’s like a bar from the 19th century. You climb up about four sets of stairs to get there and it’s dark and old feeling with deer and moose heads hanging from the walls. The bar is long and stocked with about a jillion bottles of Scotch and Bourbon and Rye from all over the world. I sipped on a 10 year old Ardbeg Scotch and then shifted gears to a dark beer (recommended by the bartender) that was so heavy and rich that drinking it was almost like eating dinner.
A girl from work had told me that Darryl Holter does “Americana” music. I thought I would see a bearded guy in overhauls sitting on a stool with an acoustic guitar singing down-home tunes about living in the mountains or sleeping under the stars somewhere. Instead Holter came out with a plugged in guitar, a revved up sound system, and a group of serious musicians who really know how to play. The result was an hour of mostly great songs for a medium-sized Wednesday-night crowd, including many who seemed to be familiar with Holter’s songs.
Many of the songs came from Holter’s recent album, “Crooked Hearts,” which he describes as songs about “dysfunctional relationships”. The title track tells the story of a guy who falls for a female safe-cracker, an armed robbery, and a trip to the county jail. On a somewhat lighter note is “November Rain,” in which two people from very different backgrounds are thrown together in a clandestine safe house. “Backburner Blues” brings the blues element into the Americana equation while “The Gambler’s Holiday” is a song that should be played on LA’s country station, Go Country 105. Another song called “Try, Try, Try” has a sort of Brit-pop quality that doesn’t seem to fit the Americana groove, but it has a catchy tune.
On the other hand, Holter took British singer-songwriter Richard Thompson’s song “Walking the Long Miles Home” and turned it into a rollicking country story of walking home in the middle of the night after a long evening of revelry. I found myself humming the tune walking back to my apartment.
Holter will be returning to Seven Grand on Wed June 12th at 10pm.
– Dan Sherman, Eye On Country