I ventured over to the Bowery on Friday night to check out The Hollows, a roots rock band with southern heart and New York City charisma. I’d seen them over in Brooklyn a few times, but the more intimate Bowery Electric was the venue this time, and although it was an earlier set on a misty, chilly night, these guys were still able to pump out some tunes and bring some true southern comfort to those who made it out.
Tight knit harmonies and perfectly blended instrumentation make up this six-piece band, which usually consists of mandolin, banjo, and acoustic/electric guitars in any given song. This show was more toned down compared to the times I’ve seen them in the past. Most of the songs in their set were more ballad-like and didn’t reach the up-tempo feel I usually get at a Hollows show, but these guys have the foundation of great on-stage chemistry to pump out energy though any kind of song. The band ripped through a one-hour set with a mix of past originals like the bluegrass-style driven ‘Josephine’, and ‘ harmonious ‘Pioneers’. They also performed a handful of new material in ‘I Am Not Made For This World’, ‘Sister Peterbilt’, and ‘Cross Country Call’. Most of the new material seemed to really focus of the story within the lyrics, which can be tough to do with so much instrumentation going on at once. It really showed the step up the band had taken in their songwriting ability, which has always been very good.
These freewheeling minstrels, who are constantly rotating instrumental duties throughout their shows, made sure that this would be one that would leave audiences wondering what other new songs would be making their debuts in the near future. Pianist/backup vocalist Dave Paarlberg made it clear the band would be in the studio come spring or early summer to put some of these new songs to tape. They’re playing a few more shows in the city before the summer concert season kicks into full swing, one can only imagine what kind of city slicker-style shenanigans The Hollows will bring us by then!
Article by Tom Shackleford