Jackson Holte and his rockin’ Missoula four-piece, made up of a few of the Garden City’s “greasiest bar-band veterans,” got together back in 2017. Last Rain of the Summer is their first full-length album.
Led by vocalist/songwriter Holte, who also plays guitar, harmonica, saxophone and keys, the fellas put out toe-tappin’ rock ‘n roll, blues and folk-inspired story songs and ballads. Holte credits David Olney and Levon Helms, among others, as influences, and his earthy, melodic pieces reflect that.
He’s joined by Tyson Gerhardt, guitar, vocals, and accordion; Marko Capoferri, bass, vocals, banjo and Dobro; and Brian Tremper, drums and keys. Tremper has since left the band to pursue more playing opportunities in a bigger city.
Holte wrote all but two of the pieces, and co-wrote “Something Had a Hold on Me” with Capoferri. The traditional “John Henry’s Hammer” is reprised as a squirrelly up-tempo rocker; Holte’s baritone voice, which can hit the high notes too, is in fine form as he wails and growls his way through the song. Shades of Jerry Reed!
His love song to the Big Easy, “New Orleans,” is a bouncy fingersnapper with a sprightly snare drum leading the way. It’s got an infectious horn refrain and a light touch. Holte sings of leaving cold Montana for a warmer climate and the carefree party life. Accordion and spirited bass keep this one hoppin’ – it’s a hit!
So is the talking blues barnburner, “Fast Lane West,” which starts with trucker chatter on the CB, courtesy of Raina Wallace. Sung lickety-split by Holte with an emotive, sandpapery delivery, it’s about a newbie trucker warned to hug the center line so two racing rigs can zoom by him. Yow!
Montana Senator Jon Tester calls the group “a pretty rippin’ band.” And they surely are!
– Mariss McTucker