opossum holler

Lloyd Nicely’s first guitar was a 1963 Fender Jazzmaster that he bought at Gruhn Guitars, where he now works. His main axe is an orange 1959 Gretsch 6120.
Photo by Dusty Draper

We sit down to talk with the Kentucky trio's guitarist and bassist about their adrenalin-fueled mix of B-movie references, grade-A riffs, and smarty-pants chords.

Kentucky-based rockers Opossum Holler play in the style of doomabilly: an eclectic mash-up of rockabilly and ’70s metal. It’s a high-energy cocktail, but also dynamic, dark, and introspective. The band is edgy, yet quirky and offbeat—and they’re not subtle. “I was influenced by anything B-horror movie related,” guitarist Lloyd Nicely says. “So that’s where most of it comes from.” The band is officially based in Bowling Green and released their first album, What’s Done Is Done, in 2011. Their lineup includes Nicely on guitar and vocals, plus drummer Matt DeVore and bassist Shelby Smith, who replaced founding bassist Brad Ausbrooks in 2014.

The power trio format suits Nicely just fine. He boasts virtuosic technique, superior tones, and an unorthodox perspective. “I was very influenced by Elvis and the rockabilly stuff,” he says. “I got really heavy into a lot of psychobilly music like Batmobile, Guana Batz, and, of course, Reverend Horton Heat. I always liked the Cramps—things like that—and I was very into Dick Dale.” Nicely also has an encyclopedic knowledge of vintage gear, which he puts to use working at Gruhn Guitars in Nashville. “I do the majority of the purchasing and consigning for the shop,” he explains.

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