Hollis Brown

Hollis Brown

 New York City, New York, USA
BandRockAmericana

With a distinct sound that unites hook-soaked pop and blues-drenched rock and roll, Hollis Brown is a throwback to an era when music felt fresh, songwriting was revered, and performances routinely inspired. Born and raised in NYC, these young guys exemplify the passion and grit of their hometown.

Biography

Mike Montali - vocals, guitars

Jonathan Bonilla- guitars 

Andrew Zehnal - drums

Adam Bock - piano, vocals

Scott Thompson - bass



Hollis Brown is an American Rock ‘n’ Roll band.  Named after a Bob Dylan song (“The Ballad of Hollis Brown”), the band was formed by Queens-natives and songwriters Mike Montali (lead vocals/guitar) and Jonathan Bonilla (lead guitar).  Both 2nd-generation immigrants (Italian-American and Puerto Rican-American, respectively), they soon found their musical brethren across America, recruiting Andrew Zehnal (drums) from Cleveland, Adam Bock (keyboard/vocals) from St. Louis, and Scott Thompson (bass) from Boston.

 

Hollis Brown’s latest vinyl EP, Cluster of Pearls (Alive Naturalsound Records), was chosen as one of the 300 select releases throughout the world for Record Store Day 2016.  Pressed on Starburst Vinyl, the record is limited to 800 copies and features four previously unreleased tracks and two songs released on vinyl for the first time. Cluster of Pearls follows up the 2015 release of Hollis Brown's third album 3 Shots (Jullian Records/RED), featuring the Bo Diddley collaboration “Rain Dance,” and the duet “Highway 1” with acclaimed alt-country songstress Nikki Lane. The edgy, roots-rock indie band from Queens, NY, known for its adrenaline fueled performances, recently wrapped 40+ amphitheater shows across America supporting Counting Crows and Citizen Cope last Summer/Fall, followed by a month-long headline tour in the UK and Europe.

 

The independent act has achieved a significant amount of success since their formation in 2009.  They released their debut album Ride On The Train on Alive Naturalsound in 2013 (produced by Adam Landry), garnering song and video premieres from Rolling Stone, Paste, and American Songwriter, along with music placements on Direct TV's "Kingdom," Showtime’s “Shameless,” MTV’s “Real World,” and the Willem Dafoe/Matt Dillon film “Bad Country”.  Following a Lou Reed tribute concert in NYC, Alive Naturalsound asked the band to record a tribute to the Velvet Underground’s classic album Loaded, as a limited-edition vinyl release for Record Store Day 2014.  Hollis Brown Gets Loaded took on a life of its own, with airplay on influential radio stations, resulting in a full CD & digital release. 

 

The band has toured extensively in America and Europe, headlining and supporting such bands as The Zombies, Jackie Greene, Heartless Bastards, Rich Robinson of Black Crowes, and Jesse Malin, and building an impressive fan base on both continents.

Lyrics

RIDE ON THE TRAIN

Written By: Mike Montali,Jonathan Bonilla

Left New York playing clubs in the U.S.A, she didn't even
ask if I would stay. I called Chloe and I listened to
"Havanna Moon." She was lookin' for a prince to be her
groom. Ride on the train, and baby don't look back.

Ah! The sun in the south never felt so good. Sweet Savanah
I did everything that I could. All I ever really wanted was
a second try, in the clouds of Ohio we said goodbye. Ride
on the train, and baby don't look back.

Left New York playing clubs and I don't know why. Under
skies of Ohio we said goodbye. Tryin' to make it in this
rock-n-roll enterprise. In the streets of the ghetto she
told me lies. Ride on the train, and baby don't look back.

DOGHOUSE BLUES

Written By: Mike Montali,Jonathan Bonilla

You go to work in the mornin', you go to bed at night. You
go to work in the mornin', you go to bed at night. You been
down to the river, and you ain't been satisfied.

Ain't got no place to hide. Ain't got no place to hide. I'm
breaking down those rules that you write across my back.
You been down to the river and you ain't been satisfied.

Before I be your dog, before I be your dog, I'll take you
way out there and leave you where you lie. Goin' down to
the river and you ain't been satisfied.

You go to work in the mornin', you go to bed at night. You
go to work in the mornin' and go to bed at night. You been
down to the river and you ain't ben satisfied.

WHEN THE WEATHERS WARM

Written By: Mike Montali,Jonathan Bonilla

Do you know when you are just pretending? Do you find, do
you find love in your life. She woke up on a night in the
early morning. What she saw was the age in her eyes. When
it's gettin near dawn, that's when she wants you to come on
back home.

There are times when you look in your mirror, what you find
can change your life. And baby when it's getting near dawn,
that's when I want you to come on back home.

I don't want you. I don't need you. I won't ask you to go.
I don't want you, in the mornin'. I'm gon' stay if you go.
When the weather gets warm, that's when I want you to come
on back home.

There are times when you look in your mirror. What you
find, can change your life.

NOTHING & THE FAMOUS NO ONE

Written By: Mike Montali,Jonathan Bonilla

Time, time is nothing, and I'm, no one to, you, but your so
lovely my love. and I'll be so lovely too, maybe someday,
someday soon. I will not make your mistakes, even though
you will see. when all is made to be filled, so are we, so
are we. Kneeling is more for she, not for me.

In that position, you look so lovely, I wish I could taste
you one more time. That's for someone I never seen now when
I see you. You look nice looking too, then I see you, the
real you. I'll be nice looking to, maybe someday someday
soon. When all is made to be filled, so are we. Kneeling is
more for she not for me.

DOWN ON YOUR LUCK

Written By: Mike Montali,Jonathan Bonilla

When your diamond rings, and your money from your king.
When you realize it don't mean a thing, you're gonna look
my way.
When the night runs cold and your down on your luck. When
you need a friend and your down on your luck. When the
Night runs cold and your down on your luck, baby, bet on
me.
When your fooling around with everyone in town. When you
realize they don't need your crown then you're gonna look
my way.
When the night runs cold and your down on your luck. When
you need a friend and your down on your luck. When the cold
wind blows and your down on your luck, baby, bet on me.
When you're fooling around with everyone in town, when you
realize they don't need your crown, then your gonna look my
way.

GYPSY BLACK CAT

Written By: Mike Montali,Jonathan Bonilla

Think I'm goin any Ma'. Think I'm going to what I need.I
won't take it for granted, like all the things that you
have seen. If you're walking down the road, with nowhere to
go, or you're floating on the sea, you can count on me.I
met a girl she's quiet. Her daddy used to beat her good. A
gypsy needs a black cat. A sad man needs a woman too.
I hope one day I love her. I hope one day she loves me too.

FAITH & LOVE

Written By: Mike Montali,Jonathan Bonilla

Tried to throw a strike but I couldn't pitch. I couldn't
see the signs or the mit. Feeling like a boxer but I lost
my sight. I couldn't jab a left or throw a right
Roll on you can have it all, if you want it you could grab
it all. It's gonna take faith & love and everything you
know and God knows what.
Tried to be Hunter but I couldn't shoot. Tried to be a
singer but I went mute. Thought I was an actor but I lost
my sight. Couldn't be a painter, cause I'm color blind
Roll on you can have it all, if you want it you can grab it
all. Gonna take faith & love and everything you know and
God knows what.
Thought I was a runner but I tripped and fell. Used to
skate but the ice would slowly melt. Used to roll the dice
and I couldn't miss,
I threw it all away now I ain't shit.

IF IT AIN'T ME

Written By: Mike Montali,Jonathan Bonilla

Sometimes baby, don't you find that the best of things in
life they fly. How come they leave? I just hope that you
find all the things you want to have in life, even if it
ain't me. If it ain't me. You know it ain't you. what must
it be? It must be the truth.
Sweet baby, lady day, I hear the thundering I guess our
clouds are grey. What can I say? I still need you? I still
care? I still remember the way you wore you're hair? The
way you would stair. If it ain't me. You know it ain't you,
what must it be? It must be the truth.
That we're through.

WALK ON WATER

Written By: MIke Montali,Jonathan Bonilla

If you walk on water you got to be willing to drown. If you
walk on water you got to be willing to drown. My car was on
the highway, gas tank it was low, at $5.15 for gasoline
there's a rising death toll. A car bomb on the road,
waiting to explode, if you miss this one then maybe the
next one will break your mold, or you'll lose your sight.
The desert in the night.

If you walk on water you got to be willing to drown. If you
walk on water you got to be willing to drown. Mr.
politician, aimed at recognition, it ain't your blood
that's being spilled, you're office is air conditioned. The
housewife in the kitchen, cancer in remission, just got
word that her husband was shot down during his mission. It
just ain't right, the desert in the night.

If you walk on water you got to be willing to drown.

NIGHTFALL

Written By: Mike Montali,Jonathan Bonilla

So no on we go. Some they find they never know. Thing's
ain't what you planned, at least you got someone that
understands. Blame it in the summer wind.

Don't you say goodbye. Don't you ever wonder why. Thing's
aren't what you planned. At least you got someone to hold
your hand. Hold it in the summer wind.

Blame it on the summer wind.

HEY BABY

Written By: Mike Montali,Jonathan Bonilla

Hey baby, you make me blue, I kinda want to make love to
you. Hey baby, shine your light, I kinda want you to treat
me right.
I been goin' down every day and every night, I gotta love
her, got to keep her satisfied, but oh' now baby queen I
can't recall your name, I know you told me once but it all
sounds just the same.
Hey baby, you make me blue I kinda want to make sweet love
to you.

CATHEDRAL

Written By: Mike Montail,Jonathan Bonilla

May the light shine down upon your shoulder, Upon your shoulder, and show you the way
And may you be blessed, by the hands of mercy, May the hands of mercy, show you the way Lonely child, left alone
Your beautiful journey, will lead to salvation, and bring you back home
May life protect you, and all that you value,
May all that you value be worthy and true
May every child, be able to eat, drink the fresh water, And work on the line.
Lonely child, left alone
Your beautiful journey will lead to salvation and bring you back home
May the light shine down upon your shoulder, Upon your shoulder, and show you the way
And may you be blessed, by the hands of mercy, May the hands of mercy, show you the way Lonely child, left alone
Your beautiful journey, will lead to salvation, and bring you back home
Your beautiful journey, will lead to salvation, and bring you back home, bring you back home.

3 SHOTS

Written By: Mike Montail,Jonathan Bonilla

Oh this city
What's it doing to me?
You hear something different everyday
There was a little one
He got caught in the sun
Surveys about guns on channel 1
Everyone knows
That 3 shots on the boulevard
And who will be the next one that they name? Oh if nobody cares
I guess we’re all gonna hear the story,
And who will be the next one that they name?
Oh little one
You got bullied at school
Those warning signs of constant cruel
It's everywhere
it's not rich or poor
It's not black or white, it's a revolving door
And everyone knows
That 3 shots on the boulevard
And who will be the next one that they name? Oh if nobody cares
I guess we’re all gonna hear the story
And who will be the next one that they name?
Oh, and everyone knows
That 3 shots on the boulevard
And who will be the next one that they name? Oh and if nobody cares
I guess we’re all gonna hear the story
And who will be the next one that they name? Oh, and everyone knows
That 3 shots on your boulevard
And who will be the next one that they name?

JOHN WAYNE

Written By: Mike Montail,Jonathan Bonilla

We've lost our leading man
Thousands dead in the hills of Pakistan Contrary to what you've been told
It's oil bought and sold
John Wayne you're forever gone
Good old Duke
I've been waiting all my life to see you again
Confused friendly fire Politicians to be put on trial They make their promises And then they torture kids
John Wayne you're forever gone
Good old Duke
I've been waiting for all my life to see you again
John Wayne you’re forever dead John Wayne I wanna see you again I wanna see you again
I wanna see you again

RAIN DANCE

Written By: Ellas McDaniel,Mike Montail,Jonathan Bonilla

Oh danger, panic in the world and on the street
Oh danger, people, they don't like what we believe
We're gonna take some time tonight, and get it together, let’s get it together
We're gonna take some time tonight, and get it together, let’s get it together, oh yeah yeah
!Oh you know love it don't cost a dime Oh it's just a, a state of mind
Oh you know love it don't cost a dime Oh it's just a, a state of mind, yeah
!Oh danger, terror on the news will make you run
Oh danger, got to see the storm before the sun
We're gonna take some time tonight, and get it together, we’re gonna get it together We’re gonna take some time tonight, and get it together, let’s get it together, oh yeah yeah !
Oh you know love it don't cost a dime, Oh it's just a, a state of mind
I said you know love it don’t cost a dime, Oh it’s just a, a state of mind, yeah.
!Oh danger, panic in the world and on the street
Oh danger, people, that don't like what we believe
We're gonna take some time tonight, and get it together, let’s get it together
We're gonna take some time tonight, and get it together, let’s get it together, oh yeah yeah

SANDY

Written By: Mike Montail,Jonathan Bonilla

Sweet Sandy, won't you be my love?
Oh Sandy, won’t you be my love?
Sweet Sandy, won't you be my love?
I need dance with my baby
I need to see her in the dark
I need to hold her, and make her mine all mine.
She been on it for years now
Takes the stage and she works the scene
Just watch her move, she's got to be mine all mine.
Oh Sandy, won't you be my love? (won’t you be my love?) Sweet Sandy, won't you be my love? (won’t you be my love?) Oh Sandy, won't you be my love?
She wants to be a writer
But the money has been too damn good
At Lucifer's Playpen down on Spring and Main She’s got a son and a daughter
Her ex he don't help her none
Well, I got to save her and make her mine all mine
Oh Sandy, won’t you be my love? (won’t you be my love?)
Sweet Sandy, won't you be my love?
She goes by Sandy
I don't even know if that's her name
She been hurt just one too many times I guess Time for her feature
Takes the stage and she works the scene
Just watch her move, she's got to be mine all mine
Oh Sandy, won't you be my love? (won’t you be my love?) Oh Sandy, won't you be my love? (won’t you be my love?) Sweet Sandy, won't you be my love? (won’t you be my love?) Oh Sandy, won't you be my love?

SWEET TOOTH

Written By: Mike Montail,Jonathan Bonilla

Out on the corner
Money in my hand
I placed my order
To my good friend
Now I'm waiting, I’m waiting, I’m waiting for him, just to get by, to get by I’m waiting on a friend
On South Atlantic Ave
I’m waiting on a friend
Just to get by
Body is hurting
!
!
!
!
Mouth running dry
And he's on his own clock
Never on time
So I'm waiting, I’m waiting, I’m waiting for him, just to get high, to get by Waiting on a friend
South Atlantic Ave
I’m waiting on a friend
Just to get by
Waiting on a friend
South Atlantic Ave
I’m waiting on a friend
Just to get by
And I've got a sweet tooth... Oh I’ve got a sweet tooth
Hear he comes now,
I'll make amends
same time tomorrow
We’re gonna do it again
I’ll be waiting, waiting, waiting for him just to get by, to get by Waiting on a friend
South Atlantic Ave Waiting on a friend Just to get by
Waiting on a friend South Atlantic Ave I’m waiting on a friend Just to get by
Waiting on a friend South Atlantic Ave I’m waiting on a friend
! Just to get by, just to get by

DEATH OF AN ACTRESS

Written By: Mike Montail,Jonathan Bonilla

Vivian, you worked so hard
I saw you, how you went so far,
And you were my star.
You honed your craft, and won a role The spotlight on your shiny soul
You were my star.
I wanna see you tomorrow,
Oh you stole every scene
I wanna see you tomorrow, (oh)
Oh you stole every scene
My love, goodbye (oooh)
As Madam Faye, and won the role You even danced with Cary Grant, And you loved your fame,
You paid for more, then your plate And I was just a Mississippi flake You won my heart
And I wanna see you tomorrow (oh) Oh you stole every scene
I wanna see you tomorrow
Oh you stole every scene
My love, goodbye
I wanna see you tomorrow (oh yeah) Cause you stole every scene, yes you did I wanna see you tomorrow
Oh you stole every scene
My love, goodbye

HIGHWAY 1

Written By: Mike Montail,Jonathan Bonilla

Catching up after all this time,
you know you had me baby in my prime (oh oh, oooh). Your momma never liked me much,
Sunday night in the pickup truck (oooh, oooh).
Oh it was good to be young.
Runnin' down highway 1 (woah-oooh-oh).
Last two years they been rough
I played my hand, my heart it called my bluff (oh, oooh) Well the highway has a certain charm
It’s free tonight to rap us in its arms (oooh).
Oh it was good to be young.
Runnin' down highway 1 (woah-oooh-oh).
Never late for second chances, I'll drive all night I’ll show you what romance is (oooh)!!
Looks like you haven’t changed
But I’m sure you have, yeah
Yeah it was good to be young
Runnin' down highway 1, 1 (woah-oooh-oh) Oh, and you deserve it all!
Yeah you deserve it all
Yeah you do, yeah you do now you do You deserve it all

WAIT FOR ME VIRGINIA

Written By: Mike Montail,Jonathan Bonilla

To my woman and my son, Rikers Island ain't no fun
I promise I'll be home soon
Though I don't have much to give, a convicted fugitive It's only a few more years
So wait wait for me Virginia, wait for me. Oh wait wait for me Virginia, wait for me.
To my woman and my friends, thought the tour would never end I promise I'll be home soon!!!
Though I don't know what we've done, a lot of good at what expense. It left me with guilty hands
So wait wait for me Virginia, wait for me
So wait wait for me Virginia, wait for me (oooh yeah)
To my woman and my girls, hope you live to see the world A soldier is dirty work,
I'll be in the Middle East just another couple weeks,
I killed men, I’ve seen men killed
So wait, wait for me Virginia, wait for me Oh wait, wait for me Virginia, wait for me
Oh no wait for me, oh now wait for me, oh wait for me, now wait for me

MI AMOR

Written By: Mike Montail,Jonathan Bonilla

Girl in your window
Who will save your weary mood? Blues by your boundary
Summer south of Spain in June
Voy a Esparar Para Siempre Mi Amor
Young Anna Maria
Oh, your curls they come so cute Flowing fast on the water
Summer south of Spain in June
Voy a Esparar para Siempre mi Amor Voy a Esparar para Siempre mi Amor
Stranded alone
Why do you wait?
And who will arrive?
Is it too late?
Patiently we wonder who you love
Girl in your window
Just a prisoner of circumstance Freedom only a fable
What is life if but a chance
Voy a Esparar para Siempre mi Amor Voy a Esparar para Siempre mi Amor

!THE BALLAD OF MR. ROSE

Written By: Mike Montail,Jonathan Bonilla

Mr. Rose, a diamond in your heart
You know I never saw you free from all you chains You drink your wine, every single night
Did you ever work it out with you know who?
You embraced her even when you said goodbye
!
!
!
Come on down and sing your song Sink into your yellow sun
May the good Lord call your name May you always come
Mr. Rose, sell it with your charm,
The tattoos on your arm they show where you've been You live your life, just an honest man
I’ll see you down the road sometime I hope
Thanks for breaking bread with a lesser friend
Come on down and sing your song Sink into your yellow sun
May the good Lord call your name And may you always come Oooooooh Oh oh oh
Oooooooh Oh oh oh
Oooooooh Oh oh oh
Oooooooh Oh oh oh
Oh no no no no oh no no no no oh yeah Mr Rose
Feel in love, you feel in love, yeah Mr Rose, Oh in your head
Gotta reach out babe, gotta reach out now, now now, now, now, now, Mr. Rose Oh Mr. Rose, oh no no, feel in love, feel in love, now now now now now,
Mr Rose, in your head, oh yeah, oh no no no no no no , feel in love, in your head

Discography

When The Weather's Warm EP (3/8/11)
Hollis Brown LP (release date 12/6/11)
Ride On The Train (2013)
Gets Loaded (2014)
3 Shots (2015)


Set List

1. Ride On The Train

2. Gypsy Black Cat

3. Faith & Love

4. Doghouse Blues

5. Train Round The Bend

6. When The Weather's Warm

7. Highway 1

8. Siempre Mi Amor

9. If It Ain't Me

10. Nightfall

11. Wait For Me Virginia