CD Review: Chad Hollister
Cider Magazine Bellows Falls, Vt. September 1, 2012
WORCHESTER, VT. - Chad Hollister’s recent, self-titled CD is the seventh official release by the Worchester, Vermont-native, who has carved himself out a nice, indie niche over the past two decades, thank you very much. A few players may have come and gone (and come back) along the way, but the key to this singer – songwriter - guitarist’s consistent catalog is that he and his cohorts have learned and grown with each release, and always striving for something better.
Photo courtesy Of Four Nine Design
And it is no different with Chad Hollister, 10-tracks of tastefully crafted ditty’s that indeed, stretch Chad’s chops to a different level than the previous releases, blending a variety of styles, textures and instruments that fall gently into his distinct writing style.
The disc was recorded and produced at the Chelmsford, MA home-studio of Anthony J. Resta, and mixed by editing-master Karyadi Sutedja. Resta has worked with many national artists including Blondie, Elton John, Megadeth, Collective Soul, Perry Farrell (Jane’s Addiction) Shawn Mullins and Dale Bozio (Frank Zappa, Missing Persons).
Yet, more importantly than the artists he’s worked with, Resta truly brings out an honest, organic vibe in the music that seemingly lends perfectly to Hollister’s straight forward songwriting structures. In fact, Chad absolutely prefers working with an outside producer, for he not only likes the different perspective he gets, but also the honest (harsh and/or otherwise) input one might not get from a friend or family member.
Chad Hollister features a little bit of everything, from the singer-songwriter jangle of the opening “Grow,” “Riley Odelia” and “Change,” to the more upbeat-rockin’ “The Answer,” “Alive” and “Full Circle,” to the southern twang of “Liquor, Guns And Ammo,” there is a healthy dose of styles and sensibilities that will appeal to a wide audience. Chad even tosses in a couple rap lines for good measure.
Other tracks include the ballad “Jansen,” a heart-felt song written for a close one’s loss, and the CD-closing ”One World Free,” a ambitious number co-written with Burlington’s Aaron Flynn and a whole bunch of Park School kids. Also featuring the One Earth Kids Choir, the “One World Free” has a strong, spiritual feeling about it, yet balanced off with a playful and light-hearted glow.
This leaves us with the lone cover track on the CD, a song that Chad heard on the radio while driving to the studio one day, after months of racking his brain over what song he should choose to cover. When he heard it, The Cars’ “My Best Friends Girl,” he knew it was the one to do… and all involved agreed.
Of course, Chad and Co. put their own treatment to the classic rock song, including banjo, mandolin, a cello solo and even a toy piano. That may all sound a little strange, but that’s Chad just stretching out again! This CD is certainly worth investigating and the overall artwork and packaging is equally cool, so visit Chad Hollister at www.chadmusic.com and check it out.