VIDEO PREMIERE: James Houlahan Offers Crafty Lo-Fi Folk With Danny Frankel/Scarlet Rivera Via “On My Own”

While too many artists these days patronizingly try to copy their peers, nobody actually goes to the source itself. While James Houlahan might not evoke the name recognition of others, his instinct and passionate take on folk is one to behold. On his new LP Ordinary Eye, Houlahan features Lou Reed / Fiona Apple drummer Danny Frankel and violinist Scarlet Rivera, the timeless fiddler on Bob Dylan’s classic 1976 album Desire and was part of the infamous Rolling Thunder Revue tour.

Produced by longtime collaborator Fernando Perdomo, the album was recorded at L.A.’s Reseda Ranch Studios during the weeks leading up to America’s Covid-19 quarantine. This context adds new gravity to Houlahan’s music, while the A-list studio band—including drummer Frankel (Lou Reed, Fiona Apple, Nels Cline), violinist Rivera (Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue) and vocalist Esther Clark—fulfill this fully realized effort.

Glide is premiering the video for the hush landscaped folk of “On My Own,” which showcases Houlahan’s crafty songwriting styling that is a mix between the introspectively daring sounds of Bill Callahan, Greg Brown, and Will Oldham.

“On My Own” is a song about perseverance, about finding the strength to carry on despite whatever comes. It’s a blend of the myth of Sisyphus with ideas about making music and the passing of time. For the video, I wanted to take you directly into the forest and up the mountain trail to new heights. During the last year of the pandemic crisis, I’ve relied on music and song to transport me to places far beyond the confines of lockdown. From the grey humdrum of quarantine isolation up into big blue skies, teeming with birds in flight. I think this song is a great vehicle for that kind of escape, that kind of release. And I hope it proves useful to those who connect with it,” says Houlahan about this pacifying track.


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