Sunday, August 21, 2016

Jerome Holloway: Whole Of Me

I find myself increasingly turning to Sofar Sounds to discover all types of new artists/bands. The ongoing concert series hosted in intimate indoor or outdoor venues with only a handful, attentive guests attending, is a simple but brilliant concept with a clever acronym (SOngs From A Room), and has spread to many cities around the world.

It was while browsing SoFar Los Angeles on YouTube that I came across singer-songwriter Jerome Holloway.  I listened to his earlier versions of "Whole of Me", and while they are excellent, it was this Sofar live performance that completely blew me away.

Filmed in Malibu on April 23 by Nancy Cardenas, Nate MacNabb, Sam Silver and Mateo Barragan (audio), Holloway's light-as-air flawless vocals and guitar playing perfectly complement the sunny setting. His voice on this particular occasion calls to mind two of his biggest inspirations Marvin Gaye and Damien Rice, yet he very much adds something special to the mix that gives the whole scene a Laurel Canyon sound and vibe. It's easy to picture Holloway hanging out with Joni Mitchell, Crosby Stills & Nash and the Mamas & the Papas in the late 1960s. And I can just as easily imagine him on stage at Woodstock in August of 1969, singing to half a million peaceful souls.

Born and raised in the Kalamazoo, Michigan area, he moved to Chicago just over a decade ago and began performing on a regular basis before relocating to Los Angeles around 2012, soon playing small, well-known venues around the city as well as other West Coast cities, including Portland.

The seven-track debut EP 'Matters of the Heart' was released in 2008 and was followed up in 2011 with the EP 'Sunday Morning Night Music', also containing seven tracks.  The studio version of "Whole of Me" is found alongside "Troubling Times" on the single by the same name; it dropped in 2014. More recently, a collection of five superb live-in-the-studio performances (including "Whole of Me") was released by Audiotree Music in the summer of 2015.

Holloway is currently working on presenting a live musical piece entitled The Ballad of Lucky St. Clair for which he has written and recorded the score. A live performance of the first movement as well as the release of the score will take place in November in L.A.

As far as regular upcoming gigs, he'll be part of the line up at the one-day Taste of Soul Festival in Atlanta Saturday, September 10.