Written by Samuel Barker
ImageThere was a time back in the late-90s when I lived at the Satellite Lounge. Not literally, but if I was going to a show or going somewhere to drink a beer, it was the Satellite. One of the best times to be there was when The Hollisters were going to be on the stage.

The Hollisters were the first band that led to my re-acceptance of country music. At the time I was going to their shows, I was still in my teenage “punk rock or nothing” mindset, but this is the band that changed all of that.

Vocalist/guitarist Mike Barfield was equal parts Johnny Cash and Dwight Yoakum. He would do silly things on stage that would make most people look like goofballs, but when he did them, it came off as someone having the time of their life playing music.

Lead guitarist Eric Danheim always blew me away with his guitar licks and tasteful way of staying in the pocket, then bursting forth during the solos to play leads that no other guitarist I’ve seen can touch. Add to that the fact that Danheim and Barfield wrote most of the songs they recorded together and you knew they had caught lightning in a bottle.

The rhythm section of the band was nothing to be messed with either. Kevin “Snit” Fitzgerald and Denny “Cletus” Dale hold down the drums and bass like no one’s business. Through multiple sets and a beer or two, these guys held a rock stead base for Barfield and Danheim to shine over.

Well, here I was, some 17 years later, standing at the Continental Club, since the Satellite is now nothing more than a memory, seeing The Hollisters.

Sadly, Danheim was not in the lineup on this night, but we got the treat of having the man who produced their two albums, Casper Rawls, standing in on lead. With him and his b-bender Telecaster adding the flair, The Hollisters were still a formidable force.

Just like back in the old days, the band took the stage and kicked right into East Texas Pines. The drums were right, the bass bouncing, the leads scorching and Barfield strummed along, belting out this long-time favorite. It was like little had changed in all the years between seeing them.

Both of their albums were covered throughout the two sets the band played. Favorites of mine like Tyler, Sweet Inspiration, Fishin’ Man and many more came flowing out. People danced at the front of the stage for most of the set, which was a great site I’ve rarely seen at a Continental Club show.

For as great as Casper Rawls is, the lead part of Pike County Blues just seemed to get away from him, showing what an amazing talent Danheim is. However, that was the sole moment in nearly 3 hours of music that, with eyes closed, you’d have known something was different with this band.

It is great to see The Hollisters still making appearance, however sparse they may be. Regardless of who is standing behind the telecaster, these songs never fail to deliver good times and wonderful memories. The only negative is that these guys are not namedropped by every country band in the land. They were a special band and it is a shame most of the world has missed out on them to this point.