Though he's been doing his self-taught, improvisational thing for several years now, there's a younger generation of performers who've been aligning themselves with Alabama artist and musician Lonnie Holley as of late.
First, there's Bradford Cox and Cole Alexander, who appear on his upcoming album, Keeping a Record of It (I reviewed his 2012 debut, Just Before Music, here).
Then, there's Bill Callahan who'll be touring with him this fall. Callahan has a knack for choosing veteran performers as his opening acts, like Holley and Michael Chapman, though Callahan's upcoming Seattle date switches out Holley with Mick Turner of Venom P. Stinger and the Dirty Three (more info at this link).
Check out album track "Six Space Shuttles and 144,000 Elephants" below.
Whether fans of Deerhunter and/or the Black Lips will enjoy his music, I couldn't say, since he doesn't sound anything like those acts, but I hope they'll give him a chance. There's an unstudied warmth to his vocals combined with a monotonous, drone-like quality that some listeners will find soothing—and others will find as irritating as all get-out, but there's no doubt the man has a way with words.
And it's partly for this reason that I find the Callahan connection the least surprising, since he has a way with words, too, and the late, great Gil Scott-Heron left the world with a terrific version of his "I'm New Here." Holley reminds me of Scott-Heron more than any other artist I can think of, and that extends to the way he combines jazz, blues, and folk into his heartfelt, homespun recipe. In the press notes, he puts it this way, "I make art and I made this record because I think it's important. It's important for me to keep a record of my life."
Deerhunter plays Bumbershoot on Sept 2 (more info here), Dust-to-Digital releases Keeping a Record of It on Sept 3, and Holley's tour runs through Oct 18—includng a few gigs with Deerhunter—but doesn't include a Seattle stop.