YouTube Live: Jolie Holland’s “Mad Tom of Bedlam”

on January 24, 2009, 1:00pm

The fiddle she plays on “Mad Tom of Bedlam” sounds like an old metal cereal box, the inside sounding resonantly hollow, like the acoustics you’d find in a cement-floored recital hall. This is enough to make me swoon, but you might say that these are minor details. Wait, let’s start again.jolie4 YouTube Live:  Jolie Hollands Mad Tom of Bedlam

Jolie Holland knows her instruments, and for all the fuss going around about her voice, I think it’s her violin, not her too-much-Texas-sweet-tea phrasings that bring me in. This is particular no more evident than in this live rendition of the Escondida‘s classic number, “Mad Tom of Bedlam”.

Now that I say that, though, I want to take it back. You, dear viewer, should listen close at 3:04, the lyrics here are “Tonight I’ll go murdering/the man in the moon to a powder/His staff I’ll break and his dog I’ll shake/And there’ll howl no demon louder.”

Confused? Perhaps words really can’t describe this below number or any of Holland’s award-winning repertoire. So rather than try to explain it, check out this Short List nominated singer/songwriter out for yourself…

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