John Holk and Carrie Shepard
he heard from John Holk & the Sequins, as well. The band tore into a set of hard-played, country-tinged Americana originals and a few well-chosen covers.
Sharing center stage with Holk was singing partner Carrie Shepard, who wore a short red dress and cowboy boots. While Holk uses his voice like a well-played melodic instrument, Shepard's has a powerful twang that's perhaps more naturally geared toward the country genre. Both voices and singing styles work well with the band's material, however, and the band is at its best when Holk and Shepard share the vocals. This was evident from the first song, the musically upbeat but lyrically forlorn "If You See Her." Holk sings, "If you see her, tell her that I've changed my ways/If you see her, tell her I was only going through a phase/I was only trying to see how much she cared/And now that I found out, I feel just like I'm falling down the stairs," with Shepard chiming in on harmony. The song is also the title of the band's debut CD, an eleven-song album written entirely by Holk.
The collection includes the lovely ballad "Sea Shells," a Buddy Hollyesque tune called "Autograph," and "The Mountain," which closed the set and sounded like a lost Jayhawks gem. The original material was augmented by songs like "Blue Eyes," from Gram Parsons' International Submarine Band, and the trucking classic "Six Days on the Road." And halfway through the performance Shepard sang a self-penned song, titled "Standard Time," proving the band is not lacking for songwriters.