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Category: Music, Roots & Branches, Radio Songs, Crooked Hearts

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Crooked Hearts
by Darryl Holter

In Darryl Holter's third album Crooked Hearts, he brings the listener dark tales of heartache and love, plus crime and betrayal. Holter is a talented storyteller and the many characters in this new album are real but flawed. This CD brings us star-crossed lovers running afoul of the law, lonely hearts left behind, and unlikely couples pushed together by circumstance and torn apart by design. The title track is a narrative of fleeting romance and a safe-cracking robbery gone bad. A picturesque street in Paris is the backdrop for Mouffetard Noir, a story of short-term errors of judgment and eventual long-term regret.

Take Me Away is a desperate attempt to escape daily routines by diving into uncertainty and desire, no matter what the price may be. November Rain finds two lovers thrown together by chance, but with no chance for any kinf of future. Midnight in Cologne, with Holter's lyrics builing upon the appealing, seductive melody of the fouth track of Keith Jarrrett's brilliant 1974 album, Concert at Koln, rekindles a bittersweet memory of a beautiful episode hidden in an unreachable past.

Cover songs continue on similar dark themes as Holter revives some lsomewhat forgotten but wonderful songs, rearranging them in unique ways that give them a new, fresh, vitality. Dave Alvin's Mary Brown fits the theme of love and crime. Holter opens Richard Thompson's Walking the Long Miles Home with the lonely, aching, sound of a church bell tolling at 3 in the morning. Benmont Tench's Why Don't You Quit Leaving Me Alone is creatively rearranged cry for help against a backdrop of deep dark despair. A Bob Dylan song never recorded before by Dylan, Love is Just a Four Letter Word, with its final verse written by Joan Baez, features vocals by Holter's daughter, Julia Holter, a composer-singer-musician in her own right who recently scored big with two groundbreakings albums, "Tragedy" and "Exstasis." Holter also covers I Ain't Blue, by Minnesota-based folk and blues artists John Koerner and Willie Murphy, and that was originally recorded on Bonnie Riatt's debut album.

Darryl Holter and his Grammy-nominated producer Ben Wendel (from Kneebody) , bring some of the best names in music into the studio, including Greg Leisz (K.D. Lang), Benmont Tench (Tom Petty), Bill Mohler (The Callling), Tim Young (Beck), Matt Rollings (Lyle Lovett) and Don Heffington (Bob Dylan). Additional special guest musicians include Dave Alvin (The Blasters), Gabe Witcher (The Punch Brothers) and West Bank legend Willie Murphy. And, to keep the listener from falling to far into negativity because of the dark feeling of most of the album, Holter includes a upbeat little original called Try. Try, Try, with a toe-tapping, catchy melody that sticks with the listener after the track is done.

With assorted tales of loneliness, obsession, and love gone wrong, "Crooked Hearts" takes a classic musical theme, populates it with a cast of flawed but real characters, and, in the end, makes us feel happy that our lives are as good as they are.

darryl holter

Darryl Holter

Darryl Holter, from Minneapolis, Minnesota, grew up playing the guitar and singing country, folk, and rock & roll songs. His current brand of music and recordings draw from country, blues and folk-traditions and he often tells tales about people, places and events. In 2008 he formed 213 Music and launched his first self-titled album of original songs. Then two years later he released "West Bank Gone," an album that highlighted the West Bank (of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis) music scene in the 1970s. Besides his music, Holter has worked as a labor leader, an academic, an urban revitalization planner, and an entrepreneur.

Recently he has written and done extensive archival research on Woody Guthrie's life in Los Angeles, 1937 to 1941.

Playlist: Darryl is currently listening to:
Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, The Byrds, Wilco, Elvis Presley, John Koerner, Dave Ray, Uncle Tupelo, Bonnie Raitt, Joni Mitchell, Son Volt and Julia Holter.

What music critics said about "Crooked Hearts":
  • "Holter has been flying high under the radar for a while but this set makes his qualities and virtues firmly undeniable." Mark Tucker, Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange
  • "A very solid collection from an artist who deserves to be heard." Chuck Dauphin, Music News Nashville
  • "The words that Holter sings are entire screenplays that come to life through song." Greg Victor, Parcbench

Crooked Hearts: The New Album by Darryl Holter
Available at CDBaby Now

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More info at www.darrylholtermusic.com

Darryl Holter is an original taste of Americana music, drawing from country, blues and folk traditions. Darryl Holter is also a noted writer and Archival researcher on Woody Guthrie.