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Preview: Holland K. Smith’s Cobalt


In the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, Holland K. Smith issued three stone killer albums of blues and roots rock that somehow didn’t catch fire in a big way. His long-awaited new CD, tentatively titled Cobalt and due from EllerSoul Records later this year, ought to remedy that.

Listeners who are hip to Smith’s previous work will find the honest, effective vocals and distinctive, toneful guitar work they expect. What’s new is the stylistic range of the Texas artist’s vision. In addition to his trademark bluesy sounds, Smith dips into swinging organ jazz on the title track and takes a hip, off-kilter approach to Latin sounds on “Olhos Verdes.” And, for those who haven’t had the good fortune to follow him in club appearances, the playlist’s strong emphasis on the various shades of soul music will be as surprising as it is welcome. Smith has penned a solid suite of songs that includes vintage-style R&B ballads, doo wop, country soul, and creamy Memphis soul á la Hi Records. Strong arrangements featuring organ and horns really bring these cuts to life.

World, get ready: the gritty, beautiful Cobalt should put Holland K. Smith’s name on the lips of everyone who takes American music seriously.

Digital files for review purposes were provided by the artist.



About mrtom1

More than a lifelong fan, I am a degenerate music fiend. I was a staff writer and contributing editor for the print version of Blues Revue for more than 15 years, and serve in the same capacity for the excellent new publication Blues Music Magazine ( I have contributed to the newsletters of the Golden Gate Blues Society and the Detroit Blues Society, and freelance, writing artist biographies, liner notes, and all types of promotional materials. I support the Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Research ( and The Blues Foundation (, and encourage you to learn more about these important causes. Please support live music and buy CDs by your favorite artists! If you care to submit your CD, DVD/Blu-Ray, book, or other media for consideration and possible coverage, please contact me at tahyslop[AT]

2 responses to “Preview: Holland K. Smith’s Cobalt

  1. paulatyra

    Reblogged this on paulatyra's Blog and commented:
    Anxiously awaiting the release of Holland
    K Smith’s latest CD “Cobalt”.


  2. paulatyra

    Looking forward to the release of Holland K Smith’s latest CD “Cobalt”


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