Thu 20 Nov 2008
Reb Fountain – Holster
With wisdom and resolution beyond her years, southern California born Reb Fountain is an inspired and talented, locally entrenched Folk/Country/Rock style singer/songwriter who, with an all-star band firmly in tow, has delivered a very credible step up with her second album Holster. Powerful and energetic songs like TAB and Wrecking Ball give way to sombre and sorrowful sounding songs like Milk & Honey and Renegade. From watching, listening to and later reading about Reb, you can tell she’s lived an amazing life. Studying performing arts in Seattle, participating in an internationally renowned jazz club and being so resolutely steadfast and determined to live this romantic, artistic life eschewed with folklore and friends, Reb’s songs are at times disappointingly short but her tales are full and enigmatic. With appropriately hearty, lush and vigorous production Holster is delicately layered and impressive. With her band, colourfully titled The Bandits, featuring Simon Gooding on guitar and bass, Brendon Morrow on drums and piano, Sam Prebble on violin and mandolin and Dylan Storey on guitar and dobro, it is an established and intelligent brood that takes to the road of storytelling and folklore style that Reb imbues. While a decent portion of the songs ring true of those tried notions of commercial soft jazz/folk, others like TAB shine a light much needed for many of New Zealand’s struggling folk artists. Reb and her band is world class, inventive, thoroughly impressive and enjoyable live, and almost otherworldly, like New Zealand’s answer to Emiliana Torrini or PJ Harvey. I would like to see her experiment more and possibly add more weight and depth to her songs. But ultimately Holster is top notch!