If, upon hearing Dirt Don't Hurt, you refuse to believe that a Brit made this album, the denial is completely understandable. Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs clang, stomp and clatter their way through 14 old-timey, country-tinged, blues-based nuggets here like a couple of authentically backwoods Georgia peaches. But, in fact, only the "Brokeoffs" part of the equation — which refers to Lawyer Dave, Golightly's upright-bass-playin' partner in crime — is from the states ... and he's a Texan.
As if to remedy the situation, though, the two of them are relocating from the U.K. to none other than the actual backwoods of Georgia. Some of the locals might raise an eyebrow at Golightly's Limey accent when she speaks. But just a few notes into a song like "Up off the Floor," and her new neighbors should quickly embrace her. When this former White Stripes cohort sings, "It will be days before you realize that I'm gone/ Just couldn't live with you and your ways — not one minute longer," they may even refuse to believe she's British at all. But they'll be too preoccupied crying into their beers to make much of a fuss.
Dirt Don't Hurt is the second offering from this duo, the first was last year's brilliantly titled You Can't Buy a Gun When You're Crying. For a woman as prolific as Golightly, taking five whole days to record an album and releasing it over a year after its predecessor is a sure sign that this collaboration is close to her heart. One listen to Dirt Don't Hurt and it's clear that, regardless of their origins, the ghosts of the deep South inhabit people from the darndest places — and much to our gain, Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs don't seem likely to give up those ghosts anytime soon.
Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs play Thursday, Nov. 13, at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7664.
Laura Witkowski reviews music for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].