Applesauce's The New, New Country Blues of Applesauce | Record Review | Indy Week
Pin It

Applesauce's The New, New Country Blues of Applesauce 


Twin brothers Mark and Michael Holland are a musically restless pair. As co-leaders of the band Jennyanykind for a half-dozen records, they migrated from spacy pop that drank from the Flaming Lips' spiked punch bowl to Basement Tapes-style barroom romps. As a side project, Mark impersonated a backwoods, bluesy savant under the Jule Brown tag, and more recently he's led the keyboard-centered and dance-oriented Mark Holland's Rhythm Force. Michael has gone on to work with bluegrass band Big Fat Gap and the Occoneechee String Band.

Brother Mark's latest walkabout is the raw-boned duo Applesauce, in which he's joined by Rhythm Force member Pete Waggoner. Seven of the 10 songs on the pair's debut are originals, and the bulk live up to the "country blues" part of the title. "That's What the Blues Can Do" and "Won't You Please Help Me Find My Baby" feel truest to the form—desperate and haunted and all lean muscle, suggesting any fat was long burned off fleeing from hellhounds. "Go Rider Go" shows a familiarity with the rider character that's strutted through many a blues tune. And two expertly delivered trad numbers—"Frankie and Albert" and "Jesus Is a Dyin'-Bed Maker" (better known as "In My Time of Dying")—pinpoint Holland's historical aim, with Charley Patton arguably being the owner of the definitive versions of both.

"Ride a White Swan," the other non-original here, and the album-capping "Open Your Mind" are the wild cards that address the "new, new" part of the title. The former, a cover of the T. Rex tune that just might have birthed glam, nails the rustic arrangement, but it's probably the only country blues number to lobby for the wearing of wizard hats. And "Open Your Mind" kicks off with a groove that could have been borrowed from the Rhythm Force. Restless forever.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Record Review

Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

Love it! All the songs are beautiful!

by Jon Champion on Record Review: The Return of The Veldt, The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation, Is Great (Record Review)

This release will be available Friday December 4th here:

Thanks! …

by Scott Phillips on Review: The electronic excellence of GNØER's Tethers Down (Record Review)

You should have let Currin write this. One of the best singers on earth and these were your observations? sounds …

by Remo on Record review: Jeanne Jolly's A Place to Run (Record Review)


© 2017 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation