Claire Chamblin Holley, a native of Mississippi, was exposed from an early age to the southland's rich variety of musical influences, and from an early age she responded. She took a ukulele to church and sat out in the hot car strumming it between Sunday school and the church service. She ruined her father's classical guitar by replacing the nylon strings with steel strings so she could imitate what she'd been hearing on her favorite record Chet Atkins and Merle Travis Traveling Show.
She moved to North Carolina, where she collaborated with producer John Plymale on the 1999 release, Sanctuary, a visionary collection of traditional hymns and gospel songs which struck a chord with many radio listeners: "Every time we play 'Bounty of the Lord' ... the phones ring and ring." (Keith Weston, WUNC Chapel Hill, NC). She signed with Yep Roc Records soonafter and her self-titled release from the label was featured on NPR's Weekend Edition with Liane Hansen. Performing Songwriter calls her work on this record, "straightforward, unabashed, and beautiful."
She moved to Los Angeles and began the initial writing of this latest collection of songs on HUSH. Most of the basic tracks were recorded live in a friend’s high ceilinged living room in Glendale, CA, with an upstairs bedroom serving as the control room. The album features locals, Greg Leisz, whose pedal steel swims in the opening track, Don Heffington, whose restrained touch on the drums shines on “Simple Meals.”
In addition to the release of Hush, Holley has been at work composing music for an independent film, The Fence, due out later this year. Two of her songs have appeared on ABC’s Men in Trees, and she was nominated by the LA Weekly for Best Original Music for the songs she wrote for See Rock City, a play by Arlene Hutton that premiered in Los Angeles in 2006. She published an essay about the making of Hush, due out June 27, 2008 by Image Journal (www.imagejournal.org).