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Hollis Brown (Cool Green/Mascot)

Updated: Jan 8

It’s late on a Sunday afternoon at club outside Philadelphia and the opening band is taking its place on small stage cluttered with the gear of two bands. As the music starts, it’s immediately clear that this soulful Rock outfit is hitting an infectious groove despite the early hour, and you can just anticipate the building energy, driven by the pulsing swirl of the organ sound, exploding into a wash of horns and background singers. Until you look around and suddenly realize all that sound and energy is being created by just five guys, and the lead singer hasn’t even strapped on a guitar yet. It is at that moment, as the headliner’s fans that had been milling around the back of the venue start to gather at the front of the stage, that you understand Hollis Brown (yes, they named the band after a Bob Dylan character who kills his family and then commits suicide) is a force to be reckoned with. Formed in 2013, Hollis Brown (Mike Montali-vocals & guitars; Jonathan Bonilla-lead guitar; Andrew Zenhal-drums; Adam Bock-keys; Chris Urriola-bass) had four records under their belt before recording the current Ozone Park with producer Adam Landry (Deer Tick, Rayland Baxter, Nikki Lane, Vanessa Carlton), while touring tirelessly supporting the likes of Citizen Cope, The Zombies, Counting Crows, Jackie Greene and Jesse Malin (who co-wrote one of Ozone Park’s standout tracks, “She Don’t Love Me Now”), all setting the stage to unleash the power of this eclectically tuneful outfit to build its own love story with the masses. “When you play Rock music it’s always kind of a hurdle to not be considered a retro band or a throwback band because somebody is always trying to put you in box or define you,” says the personable Montali. “I think we make a statement that Rock music can still be done in a modern way that is still as good as some of those acts from the past.” Based on Triple A support for Ozone Park’s first single, “Do Me Right,” which received commitments from a host of stations including WFUV, WRLT, WTMD and KTAO to name just a few, radio is coming around to Montali’s way of thinking. With strong early support on the new single, “Go For It,” released just before the end of the year, 2020 is the year Hollis Brown will move to the forefront of music lovers’ consciousness. (hollisbrown.com)

Hollis Brown Photo by Shervin Lainez