Jolie Holland + Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside at Lincoln Hall | Photo gallery + live review
Portland export Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside is a group that wallows in an timeless brand of bouncing rockabilly. Much like headliner Jolie Holland, the band's titular frontwoman Ford has a voice and cadence all her own—a jazz-like wail oftentimes punctuated by a punk-rock snarl. In front of the crowd at Lincoln Hall, the four-piece ably worked their way through tunes from debut Dirty Radio including bubbly single "Danger." At one point, Ford gave a shout-out to label-mates and friends Mountain Man, who were also playing a show in town at Schubas that evening. While the performance was a bit one-note at times, the smiling faces around the room spoke volumes about these newcomers' knack for nostalgic, feel-good melodies.
Touring behind her latest release Pint of Blood, Jolie Holland bounced between rearranged renditions of her latest tracks and reverent odes to her musical heroes. Slightly stripped-down versions of "All Those Girls" and "Wreckage" shined in the live setting, augmented by the bowing of violinist Carey Lampercht. Holland proved to be in wonderful spirits as the night wore on, joking about going through drummers faster than Spinal Tap and listing off her favorite Chicagoans by name (frequent collaborator Grey Gersten, musician/artist Wesley Willis and singer Mavis Staples.) The homages didn't stop there— Holland turned in a solo rendition of Doc Boggs' "Country Blues," her country-twang merging almost seamlessly with the mournful blues sound. After attempting to play a song on a homemade violin, Holland ended the evening with another cover— this one of Townes Van Zandt's "Rex's Blues." "She'll lead you down through misery," sang Holland, something which Holland's performance did as well, but so beautifully we just had to follow.