The second album from singer songwriter Holland sees the artist expanding his sound through a collaboration with percussionist Fred Claridge. Add to that some electric guitar and bass and you end up with the next rung on Hollands upwards trajectory. Where his first album was definitely a solo affair this one feels much more musically rounded.
Fabian tackles everyday issues in a disarmingly wry manner, his songwriting focuses on everything from the growing warmth and promise of good weather ahead in Spring, through people he has met (Islay) and on to his observations of the world in Four Inch Screen. he touches on the shared emotions that we all have, expressing them in ways few of us can.
His guitar playing is what has got most people talking about him, style and innovation lifting him above the run of the mill. Natural ability, fine tuition and a long self imposed apprenticeship as a busker have shaped a unique talent. He busked in Italy mind you, not on any drizzly British streets. Some of that warmth and mountain air seems to have soaked into him along with the musical experience.
The covers on the album really stand out, the House Carpenters song is given a real shakedown that wrings every drop of emotion from it. Then Nobody’s Fault But Mine, the gospel blues classic first recorded by Blind Willy Johnson, given a twist by the late John Renbourn in the 60s and then pumped up to explosive brilliance by led Zeppelin. The wonder of Holland’s version is that he bounces of all of those interpretations to deliver his own commanding version.
Fabian Holland is definitely one to watch, this album is pointing in some very interesting directions.