Scott Holt isn’t exactly a newcomer to the music buzz. He served in Buddy Guy’s band for 10 years and, not surprisingly, calls it a “…trip to the university.” That schooling has definitely paid off with Angels in Exile. Scott covers a lot of territory musically on the record, but it’s always rooted in the blues.
There’s traditional stuff. “I’ll Make Love to You Anytime” features nasty, bluesy, guitar work and enough lyrical bravado to fill an entire blues album. And “Too Far Gone” is a big-ass Texas shuffle with a big Strat sound and absolutely kills. And for slow blues, Scott shows he’s more than capable on the wonderful “I’ve Got a Mind to Give Up Living.” Soulful, heartfelt playing with some nasty vibrato complement the song lyric perfectly. But there’s lots more here. The title cut is a country-rocker that recalls the Stones of the early ’70s. “Dress You Up” is a very cool mix of modern rock and Hendrix-influenced Strat work.
Covers? Check these out; a funky version of the Little Feat classic “Spanish Moon” cooks on every level. Feat members Billy Payne and Paul Barrere guest on it and a killer cover of Bob Dylan’s “Blind Willie McTell.”
Scott’s playing is fine – he’s equally at home in the blues, rock, or country-based rock. His vocals, while not great, fit the songs wonderfully. His voice has a very nice lived-in rasp that gets the point across. Great album.
This review originally appeared in VG‘s Sep. ’01 issue.