In an era of country music made shiny and plastic, Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue stick to sincerity when they write with a sense of humor the real-life stories of broken down rigs and hard luck on the road. To some it may seem unlikely that this classic honky tonk band calls New Orleans home. To others who’ve heard them it may come as no surprise that they flourish in a town where tradition in every genre is paid respect with high caliber musicianship.
Since their inception the band has been led by the captivating Vanessa Niemann, an attractive songbird armed with powerhouse vocals and serious songwriting. Since leaving behind her childhood days of running barefoot with a tambourine in the Appalachians, Vanessa keeps true to her mountain roots in the swamps of New Orleans with her no-nonsense sound--albeit with a few more tattoos and better footwear.
The band keeps their country cadence with bass player and music director David Brouillette, once a small-town Louisiana boy whose first start in the music industry began with lobbying a local pizza parlor to let him play and promote shows on Saturday nights. Though his days in rural Louisiana are long gone, like Vanessa, Dave also stays true to his roots with his characteristic honky tonk-style rhythm that keeps the crowds dancing.
Armed with these real-life backgrounds, Vanessa and Dave have made Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue a vehicle to keep country dancehall culture alive while paying homage to classic honky tonk greats such as Hank Williams, Connie Smith and Webb Pierce. Their journey of almost a decade continues to evolve through their original compositions which dominate their most recent release, Last to Leave.
Last to Leave is their third album, funded by fan support and hard work. This grass roots spirit--combined with quality musicianship--have earned them the Big Easy Award (2008, 2009) and the Best of the Beat Award (2010). They’ve also placed third on the FAR Charts (Freeform American Roots Music) and top 100 on the AMA Charts (Americana Airplay, Americana Music Association).
Last to Leave will be released for the first time nationally at the 2014 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, where the band will open for Lyle Lovett. They also look forward to their first international tour in Germany in August. But you’ll still find them playing at various local haunts where you can buy a$2.50 beer and dance a honky tonk twostep.
Keeping alive a purely American musical genre deserving of tribute, with both their interpretations of classic country and original compositions of real life stories, Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue are not to be missed.