The Last Dance Kickstarter

HOORAY! Folk Americana Family Band, The Hollands! are back in the studio, recording, The Last Dance, slated for release Sept 2018.

As a family and as a band, we have been following our calling to be conduits of creativity and kindness for nearly a decade and it is our greatest honor and privilege to share “The Last Dance,” our 4th full-length album.

The name is no coincidence, with the younger Hollands! beginning to launch out on their own, the name not only ties all of the lyrical themes together on the album but resonates with this season in our lives.

The Last Dance is our most diverse and comprehensive album thus far. The album comprises of twelve songs, written over the last five years featuring stories of true love, life and death, family, a sense of home or safety, and more love. The final track is the infamous Celtic song we play at the end of most of our performances, “The Blessing”, which was written by our mate, Sammy Horner.

Recorded over 7 days in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia with recording engineer, Chris Gillespie at his off-grid, solar powered, Blue Sky Recording Studios.

The musicality of The Last Dance holds to the essence of The Hollands! Folk Americana sound with beautifully woven harmonies and core instrumentation of Guitar, Cajon, Mandolin, Banjo, Piano, and Ukulele. However, in true Holland fashion, we’ve invited an all-star cast to join us on this album!

Let us introduce our kinfolk,

The Players:

Our dear friend and famed blues guitarist, Cameron Henderson added a few licks on the Gretsch hollow body, giving a few tracks that extra dose of effervescence
Our dear friend and famed blues guitarist, Cameron Henderson added a few licks on the Gretsch hollow body, giving a few tracks that extra dose of effervescence

 

Our recording engineer, Indie Singer/Songwriter, Chris Gillespie set the tone on the Bass and added a bit of sunshine on the Dobro
Our recording engineer, Indie Singer/Songwriter, Chris Gillespie set the tone on the Bass and added a bit of sunshine on the Dobro

 

Colleen Davick has showcased on three of The Hollands! albums and this time is no exception. Colleen adds her fine Penny Whistle expertise on The Blessing
Colleen Davick has showcased on three of The Hollands! albums and this time is no exception. Colleen adds her fine Penny Whistle expertise on The Blessing

 

Jeffrey Niemeier has toured with us on and off over the last three years. This is his 700th recording and we are very excited to have his fireball fiddling on The Last Dance. Photo by Adrianne Adelle
Jeffrey Niemeier has toured with us on and off over the last three years. This is his 700th recording and we are very excited to have his fireball fiddling on The Last Dance. Photo by Adrianne Adelle

 

Composer and long time friend, Jeff Kurtenacker laid down an epic Hammond Organ track on one of the songs.
Composer and long time friend, Jeff Kurtenacker laid down an epic Hammond Organ track on one of the songs.

 

One of our favorite drummers of all time, Jason Torrens (of Cisco Caesar) added his drumming magic to The River and John Brown
One of our favorite drummers of all time, Jason Torrens (of Cisco Caesar) added his drumming magic to The River and John Brown

Our visual artist:

Dalia Milan has had the fortune of being mentored by parents, John and Elli Milan, of Milan Art Institute. At 14, she has found her own unique voice among those in the world of fine art. We're excited to partner with this young prodigy on The Last Dance
Dalia Milan has had the fortune of being mentored by parents, John and Elli Milan, of Milan Art Institute. At 14, she has found her own unique voice among those in the world of fine art. We’re excited to partner with this young prodigy on The Last Dance

And YOU!

As you can see, we’ve assembled an amazing team of collaborators to make this project a success and our desire is to be able to compensate those artists for helping us fulfill our vision for The Last Dance.

This is where you are invited to join the fun! Your Pre-order and contributions not only help The Hollands! create a legacy through music but also supports a village of artists. You can do this by clicking HERE.

Our goal is to raise $6,700 USD. This will cover all of our basic recording/production/printing costs and allow us to care for those who have contributed.

Bringing something new and creative into the world is a deeply vulnerable thing to do, let alone to ask people to notice it, evaluate it, or pay for it. So, thank you for taking the time to consider partnering with us on the most important record of our career to date. We could not do this without you!

Love,

The Hollands!

 

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Hospital-ity

We made our way across the great state of Kansas with a stop in Hays, Kansas. Home of the Fort Hays State University Tigers and Buffalo Bill Cody. Our purpose was to perform a concert at the downtown Hays Public Library. As we were working out logistics for where we were going to park for the night we found that there were no local campgrounds or RV parks in Hays. So, we called the Hays Visitors Center to see if they could direct us anywhere. The kind lady on the other line suggested the hospital had two spots for guests of the cancer ward. We didn’t really fit that criteria but thought we would risk rejection and give it a try.

Hays Medical CenterThe first fellow I spoke with was tentative at first but the more I explained our situation the more he softened and referred me on to his boss. I left a message and an hour later his boss called and to our delight, welcomed us with open arms. He explained the directions and let us know if we needed anything to give him a call.

The hospitality we experienced at the Hays Medical Center was more than generous. We were able to fill up our water tank, enjoy an inexpensive meal in the air conditioned cafeteria and have a safe, good nights sleep before heading on to Colorado.

Our time at the library was just as welcoming with staff meeting us at the door to lend a helping hand, a laid back spirit and a house full of kinfolk to enjoy the show.

Thank you Hays, Kansas for taking care of us. We look forward to seeing you again down the line!

 

Photos taken by Colleen Davick at our Hays Library performance. Colleen rode with us from Aug 14-29. She is a mother, wife, gifted photographer and joined us on flute/harmonies for our performances across Il, KS, and CO. We are grateful for her support and for capturing moments during these two weeks.

 

The Last Ever Cornerstone Festival

“Burn down the building and let free the body.” Lyrics by Tyler Hentschel.

Our hearts mourn as we say good-bye to Cornerstone Music Festival one last time.

I am at a loss for words and struggle to convey the intense feelings of love that we hold towards this community of creative and precious Saints, sinners and all of those in between. Cornerstone festival is unlike any festival we’ve ever attended. It is liberating and life-giving. It really is otherworldly, as John Joseph Thompson quotes in his article, “Goodnight, Cornerstone.”

We are thankful for all those who have worked so hard these past 29 years to provide a beautiful and relevant place to share sacred space, to struggle, to commune and to create.

This was our week in review:

Day one: We pulled into the Cornerstone Farm and set up shop on a central corner. Windows open and sweat on our brow, we found ourselves barring down mentally for a long, humid, dusty, hot week without the refuge of air conditioning. Very quickly our attention shifted as we began to see familiar and kind faces. We were excited to see friends, Connie and Dereck arrive in their custom made gypsy wagon, Philip and Sari with their suitcase sideshow, the Baumgartners, Helle’s and all of the rest of our kinfolk. All of our darling muso friends from all across the country and more!  Home, we’re home!

Day two: Our children really enjoyed the freedom of connecting with friends and running around the grounds like they owned the place. Swimming, staying up late, skatepark, seeing new bands but most of all, the loosening of our parental strings.

Craig and Seth Martin hatched a plan to set up a generator stage outside of our bus, Celu’haven, on Thurs. (A generator stage is one that is unofficial, meaning permission from the fest isn’t necessarily granted, although, security at C-stone has always been very gracious. It’s impromptu, and underground)

That night we settled into the Chelsea House/Gallery Stage and watched our favorite musical kinfolk including an early evening performance by Lauren Peacock. Her gentle spirit and melodic sound was the perfect start to our evening. Later, we enjoyed The Illalogical Spoon. The beauty of the “Spoon” is their unassuming innocence and sheer delight in sharing their music, which is extremely well made.

We ended the night with Soil and the Sun. These darlings are genuinely creative. They produce the most deliciously, organic, soulful sound I’ve ever heard.

Day Three: Tonight is our performance at the Chelsea House/Gallery stage. In the morning we held rehearsal in the Village. Joy began to brew as Scott Knies, Joby Morey, Colleen Davick, Darren Davick, David Baumgartner and Pilgrim Metts joined in to create a sound the angels could dance to.

Knowing this was the last Cornerstone, we decided to add in a little treat for our finally, a Ballydowse cover, “The Yiddish Song,” a traditional Jewish instrumental. There is a gleam in everyone’s eyes as the song comes together, specially Craig’s. There is a strong sense of camaraderie and knowing that this might be the last time Craig and his former band mates might play this song.  Although the heat is beating down on us, there is an excitement brewing and we’re ready to celebrate!

We all took refuge from the heat and met up at the stage at 5:15. Show starts at 6pm. We played a 50 min set. I’m not even sure how to sum it up except for joy joy and more joy. I couldn’t stop smiling. Craig broke two strings, I tossed instruments to the crowd and beamed a lady on the head with one of the little purple shakers, Grace and I jumped off stage and danced in the pit, ha! The sound was amazing as the 700 or so folks in the crowd sang along to “Old Man’s Town” and we became one big band!

Arriving the grounds with our last $50 in our pockets we had anticipated there would need to be some financial miracle for us to leave. The generosity of the crowd totally took us by surprise as they blessed us with enough to fill our bus and fridge and keep us on our way! If you know how much it costs to fill our bus, you know this is huge! Plus, they offered encouragement and affirmation by taking us home via CD. That is priceless.

When we laid our head at the end of the night it was 98 degree’s in our bus but we slept well.

Day four;  This morning we hosted a generator stage, showcasing our friends Insomniac Folklore, Jonni Greth, Ellen Morey, Lauren Peacock, Erin Eichenberger, The Illalogical Spoon, Seth Martin and The Suitcase Sideshow.

A handful of kinfolk came through out the morning to have a listen and a sing. We served fruit and veggies with hummas, H2O and shade from the hot sun. It was a magical morning with Celu’haven as our backdrop.

Later that afternoon, my cousins arrived and we enjoyed a night of reminiscing with  a performance by our favorite from 1998, Squad Five-0. The fella’s pulled out all the stops! Although, they still had their quick sense of humor and cheeky grins there was a maturity about them that was encouraging and hopeful. Jeff offered words of wisdom and humility as we all cried out, “We are the Youth.” Once again, although the heat was an intense 94 at 2am, the relief in the spirit was penetrating and we slept well.

Day five: We moved slowly as the heat, humidity and dust started to take its toll. Most of our day was spent in the lake or 20 min away in the town of Macomb, cooling off at the local Walmart. We played a short but fun set for the kids at Creation Station and later enjoyed the bright and invigorating music of our friends Destroy Nate Allen. Once the sun went down the air thickened and we started to feel a little delirious. Flatfoot 56‘s Pool Party concert was the perfect solution and a great way to end our day. Those fella’s are so creative and high energy. They had sprinklers going, a pool slide on stage with a line of kids waiting to go down and landing in the mosh pit; don’t worry there was a life guard on duty. At one point, they sent buoy’s out and made pool lanes. Then they hosted a little crowd surfing relay. They ended the set with rollicking version of Amazing Grace and some words of wisdom. We left blessed and encouraged!

Day six: Only 1 1/2 days left. There is a tenderness in the air. We all know it’s about to end. Exhausted and dirty, we want relief but we don’t want it to end. The kids are becoming more and more emotional as they realize the end is almost here. In the past, these emotions would rise up but we could just say, “it’s ok, because we always have next year.” But this is it. The last time all of us riff raff will be able to gather under these circumstances. Starting that morning we set out to find kinfolk and say goodbye, not until next time but until we meet again, “here, there or in the air.” I had tears in my eyes as I sang, Insomniac Folklores, “Burn down the building…” and, “Farther Along” with Josh Garrels.

As the sun set, a parade of bikes, golf carts and the masses marched the viking ship filled with Cornerstone memories down to the lake. The procession was dramatic and tearful as the crowd passed the Gallery stage, then the Underground, skate park, generator stages and camp sites. All the while, folks bellowed out “I’ll fly away.” Once we reached the lake, the boat was set sail and we watched silently as arrows of fire were launched into the floating vessel. Finally, the boat was set on fire and we said waved goodbye.

The last band we heard at Cornerstone 2012 was epic hardcore band, Norma Jean, one of Craig’s favorites. Moments after they finished the crowd rush out of the tent to the skate park where a rumor had been brewing about the Chariot showing up to do an impromptu generator show. It was a con and the crowd was left in a quandary, a bon fire was set in the middle of the skatepark and a controlled chaos ensued.

The irony of that moment was intense. Last show of the night and instead of soaking it in, there was a mad rush to the next thing. I guess folks just wanted to keep that Cornerstone high going as long as they could.

Day Seven: A sad departure and end of an era.

“Heaven come to earth and there won’t be no church, we’ll meet down by the riverside. There we’ll swim with all creation, never get tired, never bored. Don’t worry one day there will be no dam between us and our Lord.” ~the Illalogical Spoon

There are 6000 weary travelers out there, somewhere. And, we look forward to the day we can all meet again… down by the riverside.

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Clay Street Studios

We recorded our new album over the course of two weekends. The first weekend, Ed Bialach, a friend and fantastic engineer (and drummer) came up from Chicago, IL to our home in Green Bay, WI. He brought his top of the line equipment and we knocked out all of the base line. The second weekend, we traveled down to Chicago to finish the melody and a few extra’s.

We had the privilege of including a number of superb musicians on this album. Jahmes Finlayson, from Milwaukee, WI. stayed with us for the first weekend and poured his heart into the drum line. What a passionate man and pro! That same weekend, the infamous, Eric Blumreich punched out a few fancy base licks and Ms. Kimberly Souther graced us with her beautiful cello parts.

The second weekend, one of Craig’s old Ballydowse band mates, David Baumgartner shared his mad violin skills with us. Colleen Davick chimed in with some flute and tin whistle. Our dear Joby Morey, jack of all instruments, played some haunting accordion on a few tracks. And, last but not least, Debbie Baumgartner whipped up a choir for us. That’s right. We were sitting there finishing up Fair Land and I said, “boy, I can really choir on this part.” Ed said, “do you want a choir?” “Well, yes, but how do find a choir?” He proceed to call Debbie and the next day at 1pm The Alana Spring Hall Choir showed up!

What a blast and honor to be able to do this project with so many creative and kind souls. You can view all of the clips from the recording process by visiting www.thehollands.org/snapshots

PS. To top it all off, Josh Kufal shot video/photos of our process and is putting together a fantastic video for our CD launch. Now to find a venue to host our CD release. Any suggestions?