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Concert preview: Here's hoping Holly Golighty has a good time in SLC

Published May 6, 2014 10:55 am

Music • Alt-Americana musician waxes bucolic ahead of The Brokeoffs gig at Kilby Court.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Editor's note: Kilby Court announced Tuesday afternoon that the show has been canceled.

There are many songs that name-check Utah, from artists such as Bob Dylan ("Ballad for a Friend"), Bruce Springsteen ("The Promised Land"), the Beach Boys ("Salt Lake City"), Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls ("SLC Radio") and even Uncle Kracker, who in his song "Heaven" proclaims that at the end of his life, "Just send me to hell or Salt Lake City — it would be about the same to me."

Well, we can add another song to the list, and one that seems to be as kind to Utah as Uncle Kracker's.

Holly Golighty & The Brokeoffs' new album "All Her Fault" leads off with the song "SLC," including the lines:

"Don't get your hopes up in Salt Lake City / Because you ain't gonna have a good time … Why you want [to] go into Salt Lake City / Where you can't get f——- up, can't get s——-"

Well, Ms. Golighty, what do you have to say for yourself?

"It's just a geographical place that we use as a mild threat to each other," she told The Tribune about exchanges with her partner, Lawyer Dave, the only member of The Brokeoffs. "If there's an argument, for instance, the response might be, 'Right, that's it! I'm dropping you off in SLC.' It doesn't really have anything to do with where it is. Utah is topographically beautiful — we've seen amazing sights there."

The alt-Americana musician Golighty, a British transplant who now calls the rural country outside Athens, Ga., home, is bringing her music (described by some as "twisted roots") that speaks of her beloved life as a farmer to Kilby Court.

Golighty answered questions posed by The Tribune about her life, her unorthodox studio, her "long" time making the record (six months) and why tending rescued horses seems to possibly share priorities with her music.

What appeals to you about rural life, and would you ever consider living in a city?

I was born in London, and my parents remain Londoners, but I grew up with my grandparents in rural Wales first, moving to rural East Sussex at age 6. I grew up on a smallholding [small farm], so it's more a case of sticking with what I know. At times I've moved back to London, here and there over the years, but I've always gone home to the country at weekends.

When you and your partner listen to the radio on long car drives, who wins control of the radio station, since you have said you like R & B and he likes rock 'n' roll?

We don't listen to music in the car really. The only time we're in the car for long periods of time is when we're on tour, and by the time we get to do the really long drives, we are pretty musicked out. We do listen to TED Talks or BBC podcasts, talking books, et cetera.

Why did the latest album take you so (relatively) long, and why did you say that you feel this is the most rounded and complete album you have ever done?

We had really extreme weather, which knocked the power out a lot, and we got flooded a few times, so the studio wasn't operational for weeks at a time during the recording process. That's the main reason it took so long, for us. Each record is a thing in its own right, so I don't have one in particular that I think is the very best representation of what I do than any others. I don't have a favorite, really. I've enjoyed making them all at the time and, for the most part, I hear them years later and am still happy with them.

Take me through a typical day you spend at home.

Well, we'd get up early, feed the animals, then drink coffee and eat breakfast, and catch up with Internet stuff. If we have to go out running errands for feed or hay, we do that early, if possible. We live half an hour from anything, so things that need to be tended to get done all at the same time, and it takes a few hours. We might ride, work with the horses, fix fences, tidy the barn or all of these things. Feeding happens again. Then we're in for the evening, cooking dinner and taking it easy. Where we live is entirely agricultural. There's no night life, and even if there was, we would be too tired to stay up very late. So, it's bed and the same again the next day.

On your new album is a song called "King Lee." Who is he?

King Lee is an old guy who lives nearby. He's a DJ on the chitlin' circuit locally and has an amazing collection of stuff in his yard emblazoned with his hand-painted logo "King Lee." We drive by and there's always some kind of party going on, dancing and laughter, kids running wild. It's heaven on Earth, right there.

What appeals to you about Lawyer Dave?

Very little. He smells a bit. I can't help but love him, though, and there's nothing I can do about that.

"Bless Your Heart" is reportedly inspired by a "Nashville star who sings about dirt roads and tractors but really is just a cowboy hat-wearing suburban kid." What is so wrong about wanting to live a country lifestyle, since country is more of a state of mind than a genre?

At this point, country music is the same thing as hip-hop, inasmuch as it's selling a lifestyle back to the people who are living it. It's a terribly clever ploy. It's just a song about pretense, to us, and isn't about any one person in particular. It's widely applicable. We are surrounded by folks who do live in trailers on dirt roads, do drive tractors to scratch a living, do make moonshine and fry everything, and they do go to church and mean it. For them "country" isn't a state of mind, by any means, it's their reality.

If you had a choice, would you rather farm full time or write and record music? Which is your priority?

I wouldn't ever want to be in a position where I had to choose to do only one thing. That wouldn't be living a full life, to me, by any means. I think it's fair to expect to be able to do the things you enjoy. I also have a day job [as a paralegal], so my choice, if I had one, would be to be in a position where I didn't need to do that — although I really love my job — in order to be able to support the other things I like to do. —

Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs with Miss Cross

When • Tuesday, 7 p.m.

Where • Kilby Court, 741 S. Kilby Court (330 West), Salt Lake City

Tickets • $10 in advance, $12 day of, at 24Tix