This morning I pulled out this under-appreciated gem by Holly Golightly and Dan Melchoir. Why? Released in 2000, Desperate Little Town stands out with its bluesy drawl and country swagger infused with a garage rock punch.
Immediately, the song “Why Don’t You Love Me” jumped out at me. Melchoir takes the lead in the verses, while Golightly joins in during the chorus.
But beyond the catchy vocals found in “Why Don’t You Love Me”, Desperate Little Town is filled with clever hooks, cool melodies, and lo-fi, old-time-y blues riffs that make it somewhat timeless.
Take “I’m Feeling Good” as a prime example:
The slide guitar blues riff is just at home here on this album, released in 2000, as it would have been in the 1920s.
For comparison purposes, check out the 1927 song “Poor Boy, A Long Ways From Home” by slide guitar legend Barbecue Bob:
It’s probably been over a decade since I’ve pulled this album out. I had certainly forgotten how good this duo can be.
In fact, I think I prefer Desperate Little Town over Golightly’s more widely acclaimed Truly She Is None Other from 2003. It all comes down to the powerhouse of the duet, the dueling creative forces that drive each song and make this a glorious, cohesive record.