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  Holly - Sleeping on My Own

Adult contemporary vocalist HOLLY is in fine form these days. In addition to running her own record label, Holly & Lilacs Music, this very independent artist has been finding great success with singles from her debut album, Sleeping On My Own, gliding up the FMQB TOP 40 AC music chart.

Sleeping On My Own was written by longtime collaborator Geoff Caple, with the exception of "Good Clean Fun," by Hollyís beloved Allman Brothers, featuring Allman associate Mark Emerick (Commander Cody) on guitar. The rest of her studio band includes guitarist Caple (guitars), keyboardist Marc Trachtenberg, and drummer Steve Barbuto (Commander Cody, James Montgomery, Johnny and Edgar Winter). Bassists Lenny Bradford (Entrain) and Randy Bramwell contributed to the album. Caple and Holly co-produced the album, which they completed at the end of 2001.

Holly spent the entire following year introducing her project - and herself - to radio stations across the U.S. She finally hit the jackpot with a program director that not only took the time to listen to what he would inevitably like, but also referred her to a pair of influential radio promoters specializing in getting adult contemporary music to the airwaves.

The significantly named Holly & Lilacs Music just signed a national distribution deal with Morada Records, which will keep a steady retail pace with the growing list of markets.

A fiercely independent artist who belts it out on her own terms, Holly reveals, "I had tried desperately to promote the album myself. And at that time, in my ignorance, I didnít realize that itís basically impossible to promote unsolicited material to radio stations. I specifically did not promote myself to be signed to a major record label. I wanted to do this grass roots.

"I always felt that if you start out as an independent, you can prove yourself and you will get more respect, and you wonít get shelved and shoved in back of the big, big names. Because letís face it: they have multi-zillions of dollars. I wanted to test the waters myself and see. As fate would have it, the right ears heard it, but it took a lot of time."

Originally a classically trained ballet dancer on the brink of professional status in her early teens, an injury prompted her to do with her voice what she had done with her body. As a result, the Boston area songstress presents a beautifully defined range of emotional flexibility, panache and incomparable grace in her performances, making each of Capleís compositions her own - and her listenersí. Also unique is her vocal progression. Unlike Rod Stewart and other performers who recently added standards to their repertoires, Holly began with standards, and then found her way to blues before transitioning to rock.

Sleeping On My Own follows Two Continents, which had been recorded as a collection of demos (including The Allman Brothersí "Not My Cross to Bear") in 2000, but was so good that it made it into Tower Records nationwide.

In selecting "Good Clean Fun" for inclusion on Sleeping On My Own, Holly says, "I wanted to do one that rocked a little bit more, because ĎCross to Bearí was so slow, but there was always something about ĎGood Clean Funí when I sang it; itís one of those macho, testosterone viewpoints the way Gregg wrote it - ĎIím on the prowlí - and as a girl, I want to stand up there and sing it," she laughs. "Iíve always done more of the male stuff; Robert Plant, Roger Daltrey and Gregg Allman, and putting the female spin on it."

And itís precisely this girl thing that brings Hollyís soul from the depths to the surface when she sings, and invites you to be vulnerable right along with her.