Lexington’s Sour Cream is a band that has held my attention since I first read about them. I’m sure you’re curious where I first heard of them, so follow along for the next couple of paragraphs, you’ll appreciate this one or at least be intrigued by it.
I have known several of the gentlemen in The Kentucky Headhunters for years. Guitarist Greg Martin is truly one of the most genuine, loving and positive individuals that I’ve ever had the pleasure to have met. I respect Greg on many levels, so trusting him when it comes to music, is an absolute no-brainer.
Greg posted a link to a video and it simply said, “Check out my Grandsons’ band, Sour Cream.” I clicked play, and it was like I jumped in a time machine and in front of me was what many folks call “The Glasgow Sound.”
See, a few years ago, the Kentucky music scene was ripe with rock bands. You had bands like Ten Foot Pole, Black Cat Bone, The Blueberries, followed by Taildragger and Supafuzz.
Of those bands, Black Cat Bone, Taildragger and Supafuzz all had this similar, and familiar sound. A similar playing style and a proficiency few could match. That similarity can all be traced right back to Greg Martin, and that sound now resides within Sour Cream.
Vocalist/Guitarist Harlan Cecil is the son of Sherri McGee. Sherri has been a touring drummer for many years and is best known for her work with Velvet Elvis, and Little Miss Tammy Smith. Sherri’s brother Jon McGee, who played drums in Black Cat Bone and is the vocalist/guitarist in Taildragger, is the father of drummer/vocalist Jon McGee. So that similar, familiar thread has now reached its third generation.
And the moment I pushed play, all of this ran through my mind. It was such a beautiful moment for me. Soon after, I had Sour Cream on our very first Cinder & Smoke Fest. These young men were brilliant that day and have grown exponentially since that performance.
That’s why I’m extremely happy to share with you, Sour Cream’s brand new single, “Hey Holly.”
For me, “Hey Holly” has three distinct sounds that shape up what we hear. The song has a classic rock feel of say The Who, with a pop sensibility and delivery like The Cars, mixed with a modern punk attitude like say, Green Day.
These young fellas are really figuring out what their identity will ultimately be and I am extremely impressed by the vocal growth of Harlan. As with many bands, especially those of the rock variety, the band will go as far as their voice will take them, and I see “Hey Holly” as a gigantic step for the band.
I think a lot of that growth is provided by working with Otto Helmuth, who produced the track. I mentioned a band above that was part of the scene as Black Cat Bone and Taildragger made their marks, that band was The Blueberries. Their vocalist/guitarist was none other than Otto Helmuth.
So not only was Otto familiar with the musical family tree that birthed Sour Cream, he played shows with those bands, he saw what worked and likely even ran sound for those bands. As far as a producer understanding the art a band is creating, Sour Cream found the perfect man behind the console.
By the way, you should definitely check out People Planet. Daisy Helmuth, Otto’s daughter, is the vocalist/guitarist and they’re another young band with massive potential. You can check out People Planet here.
There are also a couple of special guests on “Hey Holly” as Grant Curless of Johnny Conqueroo provides the organ, while Olivia Peppiatt, a close friend of the band, provides the backing vocals.
I asked bassist Colby Grant for a little insight into “Hey Holly” and here’s what he had to say. ““The song was written by Harlan’s uncle Ric Cecil, and we decided we would re-work the song and put our own spin on it as a way to tribute and pay respect to Ric and his musicianship and songwriting ability, just as we have with Taildragger and Itchy Brother (The band that eventually became The Kentucky Headhunters) songs in the past.”
Grant continues with, “Me and Harlan fell in love with the song last summer, and practically played it on repeat, and after working on it for a few months we felt like we worked up a version that was “us,” while keeping the greatness of the tune intact.”
So there’s your history lesson for today. Turns out the future also has a wonderful soundtrack with these young men bringing about the next wave of music.
For those without Spotify, you can check out “Hey Holly” below on YouTube.