Review: The Laura Holland Band – Dare I Believe

Posted on: Wednesday, Aug 12, 2015

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The Laura Holland Band – Dare I Believe


Here’s an enjoyable release from the London-based singer Laura Holland and her band . . . a nice mix of blues and soul and more! Laura Holland was brought up listening to the likes of Etta James, Janis Joplin and the great Chess and Stax records, and those influences can definitely be heard on “Dare I Believe”.

Apart from Laura on  soulful vocals, the band comprise of: Nick Sharples (guitar), Jules Kleiser (bass), Tris Llewellyn (keyboards), Stuart Brown (drums), Gerard Atkins (trumpet) and Christopher Whiter (saxophone), and together they complement the band leader with some fine playing.

A couple of stand out tracks see  guest spots for the well-respected veteran British blues harmonica player, John O’Leary – ex Savoy Brown, John Dummer Blues Band and The Downliners Sect. He adds some fine playing to the excellent “The One And Only Jimmy Reed” – where several blues greats are name-checked, and also “Forgive Me”.

The title cut, “Dare I Believe”, is a soul-ballad, with aching vocal from Laura, and nice touches from the horns of Gerard Atkins and Christopher Whiter; and the cool swing of “The Mess That I Made” is another treat, with again the horns to the fore and fine work from keyboard player Tris Llewellyn.

The whole band get funky on “Led Astray By You” and then take the pace down on the lovely “I Just Can’t Love You”, with a slight country-tinge to it, but again, most appealing. The Stax flavours of “The Heartbreak Song” show off Laura Holland’s fine voice, as does the following uptempo tune, “Shut The Door And Turn The TV Down”, with Messrs Atkins and Whiter to the fore again.

Catch the band out and about on the festival and club scene . . . I’m sure they are a total blast live . . . and “Dare I Believe” is definitely recommended for some home-grown blues and soul!


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