BLUES REVIEW review of Holdin’ On
By David Freeland, August/September 2008
Nothing else on Holdin’ On quite matches it, though Green does prove his dexterity with country music on aversion of Hank Williams Jr’s “Teet Tot Blues.” Greene’s voice can be an acquired taste and sometimes his tone sounds mannered and artificial. At his best , Greene infuses his music with idiosyncratic details such as his lovely acoustic solo at the beginning of the Rev. Gary Davis’ “Oh Glory (How Happy I Am),” establishing a gentle mood that complements his blues instincts while adding a subtle layer of jazz. The album could use more of this kind of tenderness.
“Girlfriend Blues,” built upon the not-so-shocking lyrical angel of the narrator’s girlfriend having a girlfriend of her own, is a weak moment; respect for tradition shouldn’t mean reliance upon dated humor. A playful take on Blind Boy Fuller’s “Custard Pie,” meanwhile, is made more appealing through the addition of Rick Sherry on harmonica and washboard. At such moments, Greene formulates his own personalized brew with healthy dashes of country blues, country gospel, and, best of all, just plain country.