Holly Golightly | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Holly Golightly

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It took Holly Golightly a while to escape the shadow of cult garage-rock icon Billy Childish--the Svengali behind her all-girl band Thee Headcoatees--and for what? Now she's best known as that lady who sings on the White Stripes' "It's True That We Love One Another." But her new solo effort, Truly She Is None Other (Damaged Goods), proves that she's at her best on her own. On previous albums Golightly artfully mashed blues, rockabilly, 60s punk, and country into a spare aggregation that suited her limited vocal range and scrappy rhythm guitar. The new album is something of a stylistic stretch, facilitated by Liam Watson's fuller-sounding production. Several tracks use strategic juxtaposition to wonderful effect: on "Without You Here" a desperate guitar solo rudely interrupts sweet girl-group harmonies, and on the countrified acoustic interpretation of Charles Brown's slow blues classic "Black Night" Golightly finesses the choruses with unexpectedly poppy phrasing. She also nails a couple of Kinks obscurities, the punkish "Time Will Tell" and the delicate "Tell Me Now So I Know." This is her most varied and accessible record, but it's still got that elemental grit, and there's no doubt this material will sound a whole bunch rougher live. Saturday, September 20, 10 PM, Subterranean Cafe & Cabaret, 2011 W. North; 773-278-6600.

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