The Kinks, “Holloway Jail”

An underappreciated gem by the Kinks off their stellar, also underappreciated, Muswell Hillbillies (1971). This album is probably my favourite Kinks album, but it seems to go unnoticed next classics like Village Green Preservation Society and Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround. Muswell Hillbillies focuses more on Americana than any of their other albums, and this focus is nowhere more evident than on the track “Holloway Jail.” The Americana link is established with a lyrical reference to Frankie, a name made famous by the ballad of betrayal and revenge, “Frankie and Albert” (also, “Frankie and Johnny,” among others). The track reads like a tour through American folk modes: it begins as an acoustic ballad about a jailed woman that swings into a rocking blues number complete with barrelhouse piano and some hot slide guitar work rounded out with a gospel chorus. If that sounds too good to be true, dig it.

The Kinks, “Holloway Jail” (from Muswell Hillbillies, 1971)

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Filed under Blues, Music, Rock

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