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Music Review - 'Hillbilly Love' by Scott Holstein (dm)

Scott Holstein- Hillbilly Love (Click to watch the video)

18 July 2020



The unforgettably titled new single from Scott Holstein begins with a strum of an acoustic guitar that doubles as the tearing down of a gate for Holstein’s beautiful and effectual baritone to ride into the ether.

“Hillbilly Love” sounds like the singer/songwriter’s treatise on a life of productivity, generosity, and sensitivity. “They call it hillbilly love,” he declares with vocal thunder, “You can’t always win / but you can always do better.”

Like a great cultural ambassador from the Southern hills, he co-opts the derogatory term for his own edifying purpose: “When push comes to shove / Rise above / And show some hillbilly love.”

The song’s lyrical content is apolitical, and rather than public policy or electoral competitions, he makes Holstein focuses on the virtues of honesty, authenticity, compassion, and selflessness. At a time when there is particular focus on the errors and misdeeds of the American South, “Hillbilly Love” serves as a hopeful and necessary reminder that kindness, and as Holstein puts it, “a cultural evolution” can come in many forms from many different people. There is no monopoly on goodness.

Musically, “Hillbilly Love” is as inviting as its sentiment. Holstein sounds like Randy Travis, and with certain phrasing – Elvis Presley – as he leads an outstanding band, featuring the accents of excellent country-style guitar, through an instantly infectious, up tempo performance. No matter where you live, you can sing, dance, and raise a glass with “Hillbilly Love.”



 David Masciotra



David Masciotra ( is the author of four books, including Barack Obama: Invisible Man (Eyewear Publishing, 2017) and Mellencamp: American Troubadour (University Press of Kentucky, 2015).

To read all of David's reviews, click here 



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