Despite having earned her apprenticeship with the ever-eccentric Billy Childish, and choosing to adopt the influence of the equally eclectic Jack White, Holly Golightly has paved her own path over the course of her career, earning kudos for her decidedly lopsided approach. Taking her nom de plume from the central character in Truman Capote's novel-turned-movie, "Breakfast at Tiffany's, she's created a signature sound that runs the musical gamut, from garage punk to jazz, country to blues, all laced expressively with her distinctive pop personality.
True to form then, "Clippety Clop" covers a similarly vast spectrum, although, as the title alludes, the common thread lies in the gut-bucket rhythms and perky performances. It sounds seemingly off-kilter and off the cuff, as evidenced by the pseudo blues of "Kill Grey Mule" the tempered twang of "Black Horse Blues," the snappy paced "Mule Skinner," and the easy lope of "Pinto Pony" and "I Ride An Old Paint." Clearly, there's a theme happening here, and if Golightly's love of horses is all too obvious, so is her spontaneous set up.
Not all the songs gallop along at that skittish pace however; the plodding "Horse in the Mines" and chant-like take on the vintage standard "Stewball" prove exceptions to an otherwise giddy approach. Nevertheless, they all bear a similarly irreverent attitude and nonchalant view towards the material. It's doubtful that any cowboy or rancher would find this rhythm readily useful, unless of course, they had partaken of a bit too much moonshine the night before the roundup. Indeed, what "Clippety Clop" lacks in a forward thrust, it makes up for in enthusiasm. Another oddball offering from the singular Ms. Golightly, it further suggests she's one of the most unusual auteurs of the alt.-country kind.
Lee Zimmerman is a freelance writer based in Maryville, Tenn. He also expounds on music on his web site, Stories Beyond the Music - Americana Music Reviews, Interviews & Articles.