Scott Holt - Earl #1 - Lead Vocals and Lead Guitar

About SCOTT HOLT!

Scott Holt with his friend and mentor Buddy Guy

The American South has an incredibly rich musical legacy. Maybe it’s the air or the soil
but whatever it is, the South has been witness to the birth of Jazz, Rock, Country and
The Blues. Singer/Guitarist Scott Holt has been a bearer of the Blues torch for his
entire career. Born and raised primarily in Tennessee, he and his family also made
homes in Texas and Mississippi. The lanky, tattooed Tennessean was “touring before I
knew it was called touring! My family moved a lot when I was little so I’ve lived all over
the place.” After beginning his musical journey at 19 years old, Holt jumped on the
fast-track by joining his friend and mentor Buddy Guy and playing guitar for 10 years
during the most successful period of the Blues legend’s career.
In addition to his tenure with Buddy Guy and playing on the GRAMMY winning record
Slippin’ In, Holt’s 7 solo records’ have established him not only as a six-string virtuoso
but also as a penetrating and soulful storyteller. Holt calls it “creating a soulful
communion; getting to a place where the sound that my band and I make are like an
embrace; warm, human and uncorrupted by technology.” Through the countless hours
and miles on the road, criss-crossing the US and Canada, Scott has developed a
reputation as one of the most exciting live acts in the world.
Scott’s motto, inscribed on the t-shirts, websites, guitar picks and liner notes to his
CD’s is; LOUD IS GOOD. Scott explains his philosophy this way; “When I talk about
loud is good, I’m not necessarily saying that you should turn everything up – it’s not
necessarily high volume. It’s about more of a ‘spiritual loudness’ or ‘intenseness’
something that is felt as well as heard. Not something to be shrill or hurt someones
ears but something they can feel inside!”
The spirituality of music is an important aspect of who Scott is as an artist. “So often
music is treated as something that’s disposable, or as a tool to sell jeans, beer or
coffee. Music is more than that. Music is one of God’s great gifts to us. It’s a unique
language that transcends borders and barriers. It transcends cultures and customs and
allows us too communicate with each other at the level of our hearts instead of our
minds. My goal, as an artist, is not only to entertain but to enlighten and inspire.
Holt caught rock ‘n’ roll fever when he was boy and his parents took him to his first
concert: Elvis Presley. Today, in addition to his own flaming guitar logo and his wife and
daughter’s names, Presley’s trademark “TCB” with lightning bolt logo, which stands for
“Taking Care Of Business In A Flash”, is tattooed on his left arm – a symbol of Holt’s
fandom and work ethic. He also wears a tattoo of his single biggest musical influence,
Jimi Hendrix, on his shoulder. “I discovered Jimi’s music in my late teens and from that
moment on there was no question about what my path was to be.” he recalls. “I
begged my parents for a guitar and they gave me one for Christmas.” His first
instrument was an inexpensive electric, but with the help of a Hendrix savvy instructor
Holt was on his way, developing the rudiments of his style. In much of Scott’s work,
you can hear echoes of Hendrix’s stinging vibrato and wah-soaked stringing booming
through “Wicked Grip,” a dark-edged unadulterated rocker, and within the shimming
chordal architecture of the “The Fool”, both songs from Scott’s most recent recording
Scott Holt Bio - 11/27/13
KUDZU. Scott even had the opportunity to record with Hendrix’s last band, Billy Cox
and Mitch Mitchell on his second record, Dark Of The Night. “That record was a
highlight for me!” Eddie Kramer (former Hendrix engineer) produced the disc and it
even features Scott, Mitch and Billy doing a version of Voodoo Chile (Slight Return).
“After we recorded it I asked Mitch when he last played that song and he said ’30 years
ago’ with Jimi! I’ll always be proud of that.”
Holt made his first step toward musical apprenticeship when his father took him to
Chicago to hear bluesmen Buddy Guy and Junior Wells. “I’d never been in a club
before or heard anything like Buddy Guy and Junior Wells,” Holt recounts. After a
backstage meeting, the young student and venerable master stayed in touch. Over the
next year or so Holt was invited on stage to jam with Guy, including the first night his
new club Legends opened to the public in Chicago during the Bluesfest weekend and
then one day Guy called to invite Holt into his band. “I’d never even been in a band
before,” Holt says. “After seeing Buddy that first time, I went back home to Tennessee
and tried to get a band together, but it never really worked out. So all of a sudden,
there I am at 19, leaving home for Chicago with my guitar, my amp, a suitcase and my
passport. I had no idea of when or even if I was ever coming back home.”
Holt was at Guy’s side for a decade. “I wanted to be a guitar player so bad. I didn’t
want to risk losing my gig by being from out of town and having to ask Buddy for a
place to stay, although he would have gladly given me one, but before I started making
a little money, I would sometimes sleep on the pool table at Legends. I always thought
with all the “ghost-notes” floating around in there from Junior Wells, Otis Rush, Lonnie
Brooks and of course from Buddy, that maybe I would soak it up in my sleep! I learned
so much from Buddy. He never seemed to get tired of my questions, and I asked a lot!
He is one my heroes and one of my dearest friends, all at the same time. To this day,
what he can do never ceases to amaze me.” And Guy remains an enthusiastic
supporter of Holt. “He’s an automatic. He’s good! Every time I hear him (Scott) I hear
some improvement he’s made…”
There is no question Holt has diversified his pure talent over the course of 7 records
and countless miles on the road. While blues remains at the core of his being, he is
constantly evolving and exploring as an artist. His music is a testament to this
evolution as both a man and an artist. He reflects, “I am a bluesman through and
through. It’s just who I am when recording or performing. It has been an affirmation
over the years as I play my music for audiences and have them receive it and embrace
it as enthusiastically as the music of the Masters that we play. If you listen,” Holt
continues, “you’ll always hear the blues in the foundation of my playing, but my
mentors and guides, the greatest bluesmen, like Buddy, B.B. King, Muddy Waters and
Howlin’ Wolf, were always changing, experimenting and evolving. I’ve tried to maintain
that philosophy and attitude towards my own music, just create the music and let
people call it what they want.”