Cutting Loose

Sing Out! Vol. 53 #3

David Holt and Josh Goforth

Cutting Loose

High Windy 1262

Buy Now!

Troubadours have served an important function in society for centuries: they told stories, and related the news, in addition to providing musical entertainment. David Holt is one of the very few performers that I consider within the category of troubadour. His concerts are always chock full of great music, entwined with wonderful stories. For 35 years, the audience has always come away with a warm feeling after seeing him perform. David plays a myriad of instruments, and is joined by multi-instrumentalist Josh Goforth, on this great, Grammy-nominated collection, which was recorded live at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tenn.

Cutting Loose opens with a reminiscence of Josh’s Aunt Zip from Sodom, N.C., and a tune that David learned from her – “Black Eyed Susie.” The audience is primed and ready for a great show, as they freely sing along and show their enthusiasm. David next tells the story of Morris Norton, another of Josh’s relatives. The two play and sing “Cripple Creek,” accompanied by only the paper bag and mouth bow. The audience just loves it. Later, Josh gets a chance to show off his guitar chops with Arthur Smith’s “Guitar Boogie.”

As the performance proceeds, the audience is introduced to Etta Baker, and her great tune, “Railroad Bill.” We learn that Etta was a speed demon when behind the wheel of her Pontiac GTO, an anecdote that really makes the music come alive. Many in the audience were acquainted with the master storyteller Ray Hicks, who specialized in Jack tales; David and Ray were great friends, and David relives his memories in “Ray Hicks, the ALL Day Talker.” The CD ends with a set of tunes featuring the bones, spoons and Josh’s fiddle.