This is a wonderful compilation album of blistering, groovacious and gentle tracks spanning nearly a decade from one of the most admired D.C. area singer-songwriters, Bill Holland. Holland fronted an eclectic group, The Rent's Due Band, from 1974 to 1981. It was essentially a jazz-influenced r&b/pop unit, far more advanced than most. In addition to his own talents as a singer and songwriter, Holland's band was an incubator for talented musicians. Many went on to work with nationally known stars after their Rent's Due tenure. Just a list of his guitar players tells the story: Gerry Mulé (Emmylou Harris); John Jennings (Mary Chapin Carpenter); Pete Kennedy (The Kennedys); Keith Grimes (Eva Cassidy), and Paul Bell (The Nighthawks). Songs range from horn-band groovers to Latin-tinged rockers to gentle ballads. Included are remastered studio tracks from three LPs plus airchecks and unreleased songs. In one of many enthusiastic reviews of the album, The Washington Post called the collection 'a revelation' and 'a motherlode of highlights and rarities.' Many of the songs on the album, especially the New Orleans-flavored 'Do the Mambo' and 'Old Leroy,' with it's sophisticated jazz horn-ensemble arrangement (supposedly written about guitarist Roy Buchanan) became staples of progressive FM radio across the country. Perhaps that's why Village Voice critic Robert Christgau included Holland's recordings in his seminal work, 'Rock Albums of the Seventies.' Over the years, Holland has since crossed the bridge from r&b/pop to jazz, both as a singer, writer and player. His most recent album, the award-winning 'By Heart,' is available on CDBaby. So is his 1995 return CD, 'Players, Fools & Thieves.' Still, the young Holland's tracks on 'Way Overdue' still sound fresh, innovative and invigorating.
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