Album Review

Michael Holland - Simple Truths And Pleasures

Michael Holland - Simple Truths And Pleasures

All siblings have their differences, even twins. Consider twin brothers Mark and Michael Holland, who have taken divergent paths since their former band, Jennyanykind, dissolved in 2003. As Jule Brown, Mark still makes mystic, blues-toned roots-rock that's a logical extension of Jennyanykind. But Michael has pursued a folksier course on his three solo albums, including this latest one. It's aptly titled, a disarmingly straightforward collection that delivers often-thorny truths with a smile. Working with the Big Fat Gap Bluegrass Band, Holland presides over a back-porch hootenanny that makes history go down easy (a working knowledge of Tarheel lore isn't necessary, but it helps). Real-life characters include Carter Family crony Lesley Riddle, Atlanta Olympics bomber Eric Rudolph, and Depression-era serial criminals Bill Payne and Wash Turner -- all of whom are on the lam in one way or another. But Holland sounds like he's exactly where he ought to be.