The Handshake Interview with Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs
by Dan Duffy / Photography by Dan Duffy
Since her debut solo album was released in 1995, Holly Golightly has released fourteen long play solo records and countless singles; she has toured extensively in America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand; and she has collaborated with the likes of Billy Childish, Dan Melchior, The Greenhornes, Rocket from the Crypt, and the White Stripes. Most recently, though, the reigning queen of pre-rock electric country blues has been keeping it simple. Holly and her long-time band mate Lawyer Dave have released four albums since 2007 under the guise of Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs. They live on “a scratch of land” in Georgia with a family of barnyard animals, tour two to three months a year, release a record once a year, and tend to their horses on their time off. Their newest album, No Help Coming, was released on April 26, 2011, on Transdreamer Records. I sat with Holly and Lawyer Dave after their show at the Beat Kitchen in Chicago on May 13, 2011, and talked about touring, bad jobs, horses, and life in the sticks. -Dan Duffy
The Handshake: How long is this tour you are on right now?
Lawyer Dave: It’s not that long. About a month. We’ll be done in two weeks. In the past we’ve done eight, ten week tours. In Europe we usually do three months at a time. So we’re really taking it easy. We have for the past couple of years.
HS: Why is that?
LD: It’s hard to tour nowadays at the level that we are, because some nights are really good, but there are a lot more that aren’t. I mean, it’s fun to do it on this level for this many people, but it’d be so much more fun to do it with a full band. We just can’t afford it. And we’re probably never going to be the next big thing, which is actually good because the next big thing is usually done by next week.
HS: You definitely come off as being more resilient than that.
LD: A lot of bands that do bigger and bigger shows over time, once that is done for them there’s no way they’re ever getting in a van and doing shows like we’re doing anymore. Their egos have been destroyed. But this is the way it’s been for us, and we’re going to stay here. Holly’s been doing this for so long that the trends don’t really affect her all that much. That’s probably for the best.
HS: Holly, how would you say this tour going so far?
Holly Golightly: So far so good. We haven’t had any bad weather, really. We had a couple of weird shows, though. In Boston, we didn’t realize that we were playing in the early slot, and we arrived just in time to load in and sound check in front of a room full of people. The crowd had already arrived, and the support band had already played, and there we were. It was alright, though. They were diehard fans. They knew something was wrong, too, because we didn’t have time to get changed into our outfits. We took the stage looking really raggedy.
HS: Wait, you were playing as an opener? For who?
HG: Oh, no, we were just the early show. There were two shows that night: they had us in an early slot, and then they had some Battle of the Bands punk rock thing later in the evening.
HS: Did you hang out for the Battle of the Bands?
HG: No. (laughs) I can’t think of anything worse.