Holly Spears
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Holly Spears

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"Holly Spears Taking Next Step on Stage"

Holly Spears taking next step on stage
May 5, 2005
Dominion Post - Morgantown, WV
Michelle Wolford
Holly Spears quit her day job. The 23-year-old singer/songwriter will leave Morgantown after a busy weekend to pursue full-time music career.
And she's working on a new record, with a little help from some friends in Cincinatti, the city that will be her new home.
"I'll be working with Eliot Sloan of Blessid Union of Souls," Spears said.
"They're based out of Cincinatti and part of their managment team is managing me.
"They're trying to attach me to anything BUS does - their guitar player and drummer are going to play on my album."
Spears has already logged some time in the Ohio city. She lived their from 2000 - 2003.
But this is a big move for the Wana native.
"I'm nervous but excited because I hope it'll push me to do more to get what I want bacause I won't have a real paying job to fall back on."
"Maybe I'm more excited than she is," Sloan said.
"I met Holly in 1999 when she was still in high school," the Blessid Union of Souls frontman said.
"She gave me a tape and I was impressed from Day One.
"I knew it needed some help, but I could tell she fully had the talent and the desire to go somewhere.
"Long-term I want her to be able to put out an album a year and tour. I don't look at her as a one-or two-CD person. Her songs are timeless and the words and music are going to be what carries her."
Local fans have a few more opportunities to see and hear Spears before she heads to the Buckeye State. She appears on the Brian Mo "Top 8 at 8" tonight on radio station WVAQ.
From 10 p.m. - 2 a.m. Friday, she'll take the stage at Gibbie's Pub on High Street.
And from 9 p.m. -midnight Saturday, the Rat Pack Lounge at the Radisson Hotel will host Spears' last performance as a Morgantown resident.
But if you miss her there, you can always catch a show in Ohio -- or Alaska.
"I'll be playing four to five nights a week in and around Cincinnati," Spears said.
"And there's talk about sending me to Alaska for six weeks to play five nights a week."
Spears said the decision to follow her dream came at a Morgantown performance.
"I was signing at an open mic night at Chic N Bones," she said.
"After the show, someone came up to me and said, 'Why aren't you still in West Virginia?' I wondered, 'Yeah, why am I?'"
It switched a light on, she said.
So now it's off to Ohio where she hopes to get back recording with Sloan.
"We've been recording together and by end of next year, we'll have something done," Sloan said.
"We started scratch vocals and guitar," Spears said, "but we've been touring so much, there's no time. We might be starting between June 15 and July."
Spears write her own songs and plays guitar. She said she taught herself guitar and has been playing for about six years.
And the songs?
"The songs come from my experience," she said. "Anything I go through, I write about it. I try to find a quirky way to get it out and make it rhyme."
And where look for Spears' music when it hits local record stores?
"Wherever Sheryl Crow and Jewel would be," she said.
The two singers that have been a big influence on the young performer.
"Melissa Etheridge Natalie Merchant, too."
"She can just write forever," Sloan said. "I can see her 15 years from now still writing and touring.
"She's just a special talent," he said.
"Every time she sits down and sings and plays that accustic guitar, you remember that there's really something special.
Info: www.hollyspears.com

- Dominion Post - Morgantown, WV

"Believe: Blessed Union of Souls Launches Unite for Awareness Week"

At 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 10, 2005, the field house of King Horn vibrated with the sounds of screaming fans and pounding music. The Student Planning Committee (SPC) held a free concert for students featuring opening acts Holly Spears and 2 Skinny Dorks and the main attraction, Blessed Union of Souls. While the turn out for the concert was probably less than expected, it was enough to add noise to the loud rock music. Most of the audience stood for the concert, which consisted of an hour of opening acts, two 15 minute breaks, and the main performance by Blessed Union. Seating was available in the back, where parents, older students, and faculty sat.

Holly Spears opened up the night with a half hour show. A native of West Virginia, the singer was discovered by Blessed Union of Souls’ lead singer, Eliot Sloan. During her performance, she sang two cover songs, including “Killing Me Softly” by the Fugees. The guitar playing diva sang three other songs from her CD, which is currently in production: “Girl on a Mission,” her theme song; “The Only One,” and “Hey,” during which she encouraged audience participation. After her performance, Holly sat at a table in back signing demo CDs, which were sold for $12. More information on Holly can be found at www.hollyspears.com.

After a fifteen minute break the opening act continued with the band 2 Skinny Dorks, a group of five performers. They have opened for and performed with groups such as Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, O.A.R., The Roots, Dave Matthews Band and, of course, Blessed Union of Souls. Only three band members, Jake Blazer, Matt Corey, and Eric Penrod, appeared at ONU. The only two not to appear were Big Bass, who plays bass guitar and sings, and Elijah Gilmore, the band’s drummer. These three men, at least one originating from Cleveland, Ohio, came out singing and rocked the field house with their songs “Hey Love,” “Just Believe,” and “Home.” After singing some of their own work, they performed a cover song before mixing it up with a song that is presently in production. Overall, 2 Skinny Dorks received a larger reaction from the audience than Holly Spears and used more instruments than just a guitar, such as a saxophone played by Matt. The highlight had to be the solo spots for each of the artists, where several times Matt rocked out on his saxophone, while other times the spotlight was turned over to Eric for some electrifying guitar playing. Jake took the floor for his own a capella performance of one of their songs, which got the crowd jumping with energy. For more information, visit their website at www.2sd.com.

A second break preceded the main concert. As Blessed Union of Souls mounted the stage, the field house exploded in a sea of screaming fans, flashes of light from cameras, and waving hands. The band opened with fast paced, up tempo music as the crowd continued to squish together trying to get closer to the band. The music blasted from speakers with a deafening roar. The noise only gained volume when the band began to perform “I Wanna Be There.”

Blessed Union continued on with new songs from their new CD, due out in May, including “Bittersweet Sublime” and “I Still Believe in Love.” When the band began to perform “Mama,” the screaming hit a crescendo, and lighters, cell phones, and anything else that glowed, began to appear as people swayed. As the performance continued, the screaming and cheering continued as couples and groups of people began to dance. Halfway through the concert all but Sloan left the sage. Singing, and playing piano as backup, he performed “I Believe.” Before he began, he said that he felt the song was a good symbol of “what you guys are doing here,” referring to the concert and the many activities held during Unite for Awareness Week. Sloan even received a t-shirt from one of the audience members for Unite for Awareness. Many students and other audience members sang along to the solo voice.

The reminder of the concert was fast paced and pulsated with electric guitars, drums, and other rock instruments. The band didn’t end with a single song, but rather a medley of songs. No sooner had the group left the stage than the audience cheered for an encore. Blessed Union closed their show with two songs, both unnamed, and wished the audience a pleasant night.

After the show Holly Spears, 2 Skinny Dorks, and two of the members from Blessed Union sat out at the table selling CDs and autographing shirts, hats, and other such items for fans. Despite the almost insanely loud volume, the lack of seating, and the heat, the concert was a success. Three great acts and three hours of music made for a great study break for the students of Ohio Northern.

- By Elizabeth Dugan

"Teein’ up top acts at Pete Dye"

BRIDGEPORT — Musical performances by SHeDAISY, the Spin Doctors and others will spice up the National Mining Association Pete Dye Classic golf tournament this weekend.

The concerts will be featured as part of the golf tournament in Bridgeport. James Nester, media official for the Pete Dye Classic who works with the company Maple Creative, said the concerts will be raising the bar again this year.

“I think it’s going to be tremendous,” said Nester. “The tournament itself is really something for everyone. It’s just great whether you’re new to golf or not, or you just want to come for the entertainment.”

The concerts are at 6:30 p.m. today, opening with Shannon Shields, and SHeDAISY goes on at 8 p.m.; at 5 p.m. Saturday will be Davisson Brothers, then Holly Spears, at 7:30 p.m. will be Gin Blossoms and 9 p.m. Spin Doctors.

“I think it’s going to be big this year because there’s really something for everyone,” said Nester. “I hope a lot of people are going to come out. I think they’re going to have a really good time. The tournament is not only showcasing golf, but showcasing the concerts as well.”

The association began in 2003 when then-Gov. Bob Wise announced that the Pete Dye Golf Club would host a Nationwide Tour event. Since last year’s concert was such a success, the association decided to bring back a new flare this year, appealing to fans of country and rock alike.

Tickets for will be $30 for the concert and for the tournament. If you would like to purchase a ticket, you can go online to http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/h086/tickets. You can also call (304) 848-2027, or you can buy them at the door when you go to the tournament. - By Cindi Hersey

"Jammin' On ... and On, Again"

Following last year's successful debut, the monstrous Jammin' On festival, featuring over 60 of the area's best original music acts in eight clubs, returns to Over-the-Rhine this weekend. The fest was conceived by local musicians and boosters who sought to fill the void left when the long-running, national-performer-heavy Jammin' On Main was cancelled in 2005.

G. Love and REO Speedwagon's loss is the local music fan's big gain. Like the MidPoint Music Festival, Jammin' On showcases bands in the clubs along Main Street area. But unlike MidPoint, Jammin' On focuses on local talent (with just a couple of regional artists), making it the biggest and best event of its kind in the area, helping to spread the word beyond the already-converted that Greater Cincinnatians are making some pretty great music these days. For more background on the performers, do a search at citybeat.com to find interviews, reviews and news on practically every artist on the bill.

Friday, at alchemize, check out The Hiders, The Fairmount Girls, The Star Devils and The Light Wires, who have played sparingly as they prepare for their much-anticipated sophomore album. Over at Coopers on Main, it's Crazy Ivan, The Green Room, Melismatics and the somewhat-recently reunited Saving Ray. Courtyard Café features Holly Spears, Bad Veins, Mark Rossow and The Rudies, while Mr. Pitiful's has Goose, The Nailers, Wussy and the Gregory Morris Group.

Also Friday, Japp's has Hierophant, Catalog Cowboys, Kohai and Straw Boss, and Neon's (which is presenting bands on its awesome outdoor stage) boasts The Turnbull AC's, Buckra, The Terrors and Noctaluca. RBC's hosts Dayton's Captain of Industry, Lavender Drags, The Defrost Star and pictureshow, while Jefferson Hall houses Langus, The Swarthy Band, The Sundresses and Ellison.

Saturday, the fun picks back up with The Kentucky Struts, MOTH, Kim Taylor and Crybaby at alchemize; Hyde Park Outrage, Columbus' Miranda Sound, Wake the Bear and Lovely Crash at Coopers on Main; and the Kelly Evans Trio, wil-o-ee, The Subterraneans and Kelly Thomas and the Pick-Ups at Coutryard Café. Saturday at Mr. Pitiful's, it's Cari Clara, Bulletproof Charm, Campfire Crush and Ruby Vileos, while Japp's has Visceral Elixir, The Trojan Rabbit, Whitney Barricklow and Kelp.

Also on Saturday, Neon's presents 1000 Arms (see Locals Only, below), The Spectacular Fantastic, Dayton's Lab Partners and Marvin and the Experience, and RBC's hosts Junior Revolution, Kill City, Elliott Ruther Trio and Death in Graceland. Jefferson Hall's Saturday lineup features The Stapletons, 500 Miles to Memphis, Paper Airplane and The Vinyltones, who recently inked a deal with Japanese label Quince Records to release their debut album, Memoirs of a Songbook (the band is also heading to Afghanistan in June to perform for the U.S. military).

Music kicks off both nights at 10 p.m. and runs until 2 a.m., with performers starting at the top of each hour. Tickets (which can be purchased at any participating venue) are $10; two-day passes are available for $15. (myspace.com/jamminonevent) - By Mike Breen City Beat 05/10/2006 Spill It

"Musicians Make Their Rounds to Promote Concert"

Musicians make their rounds to promote concert
The Advertiser - Tribune, Tiffin, OH
March 5, 2005
By MaryAnn Kromer, mkromer@advertiser-tribune.com

Tiffin University students were treated to a meeting with Tony Clark and Elliot Sloan of Blessid Union of Souls (BUOS), and recording artist Holly Spears. The trio stopped at Franks Hall on the TU campus Thursday to speak with students, sing a few selections and listen to some numbers from the TU vocal group Up In the Air.

Students asked about the pros and cons of working with recording companies, how to improve one's performance, the hardest audience to play for, finding inspiration for songs and crafting a number-one hit. The artists also shared experiences from their tours and recording sessions.

A disadvantage of signing a recording contract is the company's efforts to change the image of the band or even the music itself. Sloan said it is difficult to allow changes in one's own artistic product. Clark advised performers to keep practicing and performing together.

"The more shows you have, the better you get," Clark said.

"It brings you closer together as people and as a band," Sloan added.

"And don't be afraid to network with other people," Clark said. "Don't ever burn any bridges."

Spears said the hardest audience for her was a bachelor party. She tends to do songs with a feminist slant, so she had to improvise and be selective for the guys.

"You have to go in knowing the audience you're going to play for," Spears said.

For Sloan, a "sea of people" is an easier audience than a small, intimate crowd, although the band is becoming more flexible with experience. Clark recalled the day in 1995 when a small audience was a let-down for the band.

"'I Believe' had just gone to number one. Then we got to the show that night and there's only 20 people there," Clark said.

Sloan said BUOS worked on "I Believe" in 1993 and '94. They made a demo and sent it to radio stations with a request to give it air time. One Cincinnati radio station was especially helpful in promoting the song. In response to a question about his own musical background, Sloan said he took piano lessons from age 6-14.

"It took me that long to realize I couldn't read music... I play better by ear," Sloan said. "I don't like to go into the studio unless I've been on the road, because that's where a lot of ideas come from."

The singer pulled up a nearby piano and microphone and performed "I Believe" for the Franks Hall audience. Spears then sang her original tune, "Girl on a Mission," and accompanied herself on acoustic guitar. Her sound is a blend of folk, blues and country.

Sloan said he met Spears about six years ago in a show in Morgantown, W.Va. Spears and another artist, Justin Branam, will be special guests at the Blessid Union of Souls concert tonight at the Ritz. All Tiffin University and Heidelberg students will be admitted for $5.

Spears, Clark and Sloan were expected to have similar gatherings Thursday at Terra Community College, Heidelberg and some local clubs to promote the Friday night concert and BUOS' new CD, "Perception."
- The Advertiser - Tribune : Tiffin, OH

"Holly Spears Spotlight"

Written by Miranda Depenbrock
Sunday, 15 April 2007

Chic Spotlight: Holly Spears
Tenacity, intelligence and talent. Holly Spears – a local singer/songwriter – has it all. But life hasn't always been so cushy. Learn how she fought, risked and dreamed her way out of the sticks of West Virginia to tour nationwide and record with rockstars like the Blessid Union of Souls.

Cincy Chic: When did you first get into music?
Spears: My first musical experience was on the piano. My dad used to show me little things on my great grandmother's piano when we visited her. I always looked forward to going to her house because she had a piano and she was really funny. I started taking lessons around first grade and then my parents bought me a piano after they realized I was pretty good at it.

It was the best birthday. A truck pulled up to our house with a selection of pianos and I got to pick which one I wanted. I out-learned my teacher and stopped taking lessons, until we found another teacher who helped teach me modern sheet music that I liked from the radio.

Cincy Chic: When did you start singing?
Spears: I first started singing in church and the school choir. Other than that, I was really shy. I always felt a special connection with the choir teachers at school. One teacher really got to know me and volunteered me for a lead part. After the feeling I got when I sang by myself in front of an audience, I had no problem trying out for leads and hungered for the parts. Later, during my 6th grade year, I played for the high school band.

When I got to the 8th grade, I was given a lead roll in a high school's play. I continued to sing at school in every musical aspect. Then, I started singing at local fairs and festivals with music tracks behind me.

My first demo was recorded with those same tracks using equipment at the church we were attending at the time. My grandfather was there with me, as he and my grandmother were the first to buy me the tapes to sing along with.

Cincy Chic: As a talented singer and pianist, when did you become interested in playing the guitar?
Spears: I picked up a guitar when I was 15 after watching a documentary on Melissa Etheridge on the Lifetime Channel (we did not have MTV or VH1). She inspired me to want to sing and play the guitar and write my own songs. My mother bought me my first guitar out of the classifieds for about $25. It was a classical acoustic guitar.

After she realized I really wanted to learn, was learning quickly and teaching myself how to play, she ordered me a $300 acoustic guitar from Fingerhut Magazine. I still have it today; I named it "Harmony."

Cincy Chic: Where do you get the inspiration for the songs you write?
Spears: When I first got my guitar, I began writing songs about things I went through, such as love. I still write about love or love lost. Hopefully, I'll have a different experience soon, but maybe it is my fate to write songs that help people in their relationships. Who knows, right? This led me to play the guitar and sing at the Fair instead of using the music tracks. One of the neighborhood boys got tragically and mysteriously killed. I wrote a song about him and was requested to play it in ceremonies surrounding his death.

Cincy Chic: When did you first decide to join a band instead of just writing songs by yourself?
Spears: After the funeral of my neighborhood friend, I met a few guys from a local band who were friends with him, as well. Through our conversation, we found out that we were all playing at the same fair. They asked if I would like to try out and play a few shows with them, including the fair. I did, and we clicked instantly.
They became my second family. After the shows they had promised me, they decided to keep me on full-time. This was until another band saw me at a larger performance and stole me from them. It was the hardest decision I had to make up until that point in my life, because they had become a huge part of me life. I went with the new band and starting playing more and making more money.

Cincy Chic: Besides playing at festivals and fairs, what other musical endeavors did you take part in?
Spears: One day, during my junior year of high school, as I always listened to the radio while getting ready for school, I heard the morning DJ announce a jingle contest. I immediately ran upstairs to my karaoke machine and started recording an idea I had, including the harmonies and guitar music. My dad yelled that we were going to be late for school. I packaged up the cassette and had my dad mail it out that morning.

After the long stretch of the contest, and having people call in to vote for my selection, which they called "The Harmony Jingle," I won. This led me to go to the studio and re-record the jingle on a more professional level and landed me a spot on their morning show, so they could introduce it. One of the jocks at the studio was familiar with my music teacher and found out how much - Cincy Chic Magazine

"opening for blessid"

The Pulse: Not just a dance club on High St.
The Daily Athenaeum ~ Morgantown, WV
August 31, 2004
By Jessica Wiant
Staff Writer
After an August of remodeling, The Pulse, traditionally one of the places in town where WVU students go for a night of nonstop hip-hop, has added a live music schedule to its lineup.
The Pulse, located on High Street (in the building that was formerly the Brass Alley Pub), recently partnered up with Blues Alley Music here in Morgantown and added a Budweiser True Music stage to its large dance floor, bars and balcony, making The Pulse a unique venue big enough for more famous acts.
Blessid Union of Souls is perhaps best remembered by its heavily-played 1999 hit "Hey Leonardo (She Likes Me for Me)," but it also has several other hits under its belt ranging from 1995's more sober "I Believe," to the more upbeat "Let Me Be the One."
The group has remained on the pop music radar all along the way, and according to Swiger, the Cincinnati-based band is planning to release a new album later this fall.
… Harry Swiger of Blues Alley Music, has been working with Eliot Sloan, the group's lead singer, on producing an album for local singer Holly Spears on the Blues Alley label, Swiger said. When Swiger took another of the bands on his label, The New Relics, to The Pulse, he met Pete Oliverio, a local architect who has owned The Pulse since February.
The show will kick off at 8 p.m. with The New Relics and Holly Spears as opening acts.

"holly spears contract signing"

Wana Native Signs Music Contract
Dominion Post ~ Morgantown, WV
July 22, 2004
Local singer/songwriter Holly Spears has signed a one-year contract with Morgantown's Blues Alley Records. Spears, from Wana, is excited about the deal. "I've been dreaming of signing with a record label since I discovered my musical ability," she said. "The guys on the label already feel like family and it feels like a natural transition. I have faith they will do whatever is in their power to make my new album the best it can be and to promote my music." Spears recently met with Blues Alley executives and Eliot Sloan of Blessid Union of Souls, who is producing her CD. "Eliot is one of my closest friends and I am so happy he is working on this project with us." Spears said she has worked closely with Sloan over the past four years and feels comfortable with his decisions. "Music flows from his pores," Spears said. "That is something that is very inspiring to me." A fall release date is planned for the CD, which Spears will record with a local band, The New Relics. "I am truly ecstatic to be working with The New Relics on this project and appreciate their talents immensely." Spears said she hopes working with a band will allow her to reach a larger audience. Her musical influences include Sheryl Crow, Natalie Merchant, Melissa Etheridge, Alanis Morrissette and Stevie Nicks.

- dominion post

"Return of the Chicks"

Return of the Chicks
By Mike Breen

This weekend marks the return of the Chicks RockFest, the annual music festival that celebrates women in Rock music. On Friday and Saturday at Newport's Southgate House, CRF presents 30 artists across the club's three stages (each act features at least one female member). Music starts at 8:30 p.m. both nights.

Founded by local singer Jenny Schmidt (formerly of Tornado Green) five years ago, the fest began humbly, with Schmidt putting together a three-band show (that included her band, The Fairmount Girls and Ruby Vileos) at The Mad Frog and simply attaching a "festival" name to it. The event's unique angle helped it to grow into last year's first two-night affair.

Good promotion has also aided CRF's ascension. Word of mouth, widespread Internet press and promo and the ambitious "Chicks on the Road" national tour has put the event on the national radar, resulting in a reported 500-plus submissions from all over the country this year.

CRF 05 looks to be grabbing even more national attention. A book project, A Day in the Life of the American Woman, is planning to have people in town to cover the event. The book will feature the work of 50 esteemed female photographers who are being dispatched to document one day in the lives of different women around the country. By coincidence, the "day" chosen to chronicle is April 8, fitting perfectly with the CRF's timeline and estro-centric theme. American Woman is planned for release this fall on Bullfinch Press, with exhibits and other promotional tie-ins slated to coincide.

Like last year, the event features acts from all over the country plus a heaping dosage of local acts. The fest kicks off Friday in the Southgate House's "Junie's Lounge" with New York City's Emily Zuzik, followed by Los Angeles' Corday, West Virginian Holly Spears, Dayton's Jayne Sachs Band (see Short Takes, page 36) and Nashville singer Jonda (formerly of the band MINK). On the second-floor parlour stage, check out Columbus AltRock band Deco Halo, Cincinnati electronic duo Pale Beneath the Blue, Athens' Red Dahlia, local cross-genre specialist Abiyah and long-running Cincinnati faves The Fairmount Girls. Friday's ballroom sets include local newcomers Backseat Virtue, Louisville's Waterproof Blonde, Wisconsin's Sunspot, Atlanta's Fabrik and local Hard Rock crew Soul Casket, who recently debuted a new lineup.

On Saturday, the lounge presents New Englander Julie Loyd, local Soul/Pop faves The Walker Project, entrancing Cincy "Trip Pop" duo Hungry Lucy, Astoria, N.Y. singer/songwriter Allison Tartalia and local foursome The Gregory Morris Group. In the parlour, it's Foxy McCoy (see Locals Only below), Charlotte, N.C. quartet Stephanie's Id, Cincinnati's Whitney Barricklow Band, Dayton/Cincy singer/songwriter Emily Strand (with her band, The Town) and Chapel Hill AltRock trio The Pinkslips. Down in the ballroom you can see L.A.'s Paperboy Jack, locals Crankbox, NYC's The Outside, Pittsburgh's Adam Evil & the Outside Royalty and Boston's FLUTTR EFFECT, whose past performances here have built them a solid Cincinnati-area following.

Tickets for the event are available at the door or online (a two-day pass can be purchased for $15; one-day tickets are $8). For ticketing and schedule info, go to chicksrockfest.com.

More Local Notes
· The people behind popular Northern Kentucky Rock space Radio Down open their new venue, The Mad Hatter, Friday and Saturday. Carrying on with the same original local and national music theme as Radio Down, the 18-and-up club debuts Friday with a local bill featuring Denial, Junior Revolution and The Strongest Proof. On Saturday, the Hatter welcomes Cari Clara, The Great Depression, The Turnbull AC's (a new project from Denial frontman Dan Mecher) and Death In Graceland, who recently added guitarist Tim Elsey and are gearing up for another national tour. (madhatterclub.com)

· After being shut down for a few months to repair smoke damage suffered from a late February fire, coffeehouse/music venue Rohs Street Café (which distributes its profits to various social programs in the community) re-opens Saturday. The free re-opening night show features singer/songwriters Zach Breedlove, Brian McCabe, Bill Littleford, Brooke Trisler, Josh Hill and Messerly and Ewing. Showtime is 8 p.m. (rohsstreetcafe.com)

· Local Folk hero Jake Speed and his band, The Freddies, host the sixth annual "Dust Bowl Bonanza" celebrating Woody Guthrie's famed "Dust Bowl Ballads" on the 70th anniversary of the country's worst dust storm, at 2 p.m. Sunday at Shake It Records. The band will perform the Ballads (and other Guthrie material), and the event includes various raffles for handmade (by Speed) Guthrie souvenirs like snowglobes, ornaments and postcards. (freddiesmusic.com)

- City Beat April 6, 2005

"From an Eliot Sloan Interview"

From an interview Eliot did with Wisconsin-Music.com
By Brett Christensen
April 20, 2005

WM: Besides Blessid, you’re also producing. I read that you’re currently producing for artist Holly Spears. Is that something you’ve been wanting to do for a while?

ES: Um, somewhat. In a sense that I hear things in the studio. I don’t want to get lost in ‘I’m a producer’ or ‘I’m a songwriter’. You know what I do? I make up songs and I hear things in songs that would sound good, and the title to those just happen to be songwriter and producer. So my passion is to basically be in the studio and make songs sound better. So, whatever you want to call that.

But Holly is a girl I’ve been working with for 5 years now. She has a great talent, a great voice, and she can write songs… they just flow out of her. That’s the first thing I noticed about her. She has this knack for writing really good songs and good melodies. There’s a couple times that I tried to co-write with her, but she has it on her own right now. She’s just letting her feelings express themselves, so I just kind of let her go. But Matt and I will be in the studio producing her album in the new few months.

- Wisconsin-Music.com


-Holly Spears- Demo CD- Available on her site
- "Breathe My Name" used on Making the Video - Brandy (MTV) and Making the Video - Beyonce (MTV2) and Making the Video - Ja Rule (MTV2)
-Chicks Rock Fest Compilation CD 2005
- Other compilation CDs



Holly Spears is a uniquely talented singer/songwriter who is poised to take her place on the world stage. From a small town in West Virginia she has carried her talents from the due paying days of playing in local bands to touring with international recording act Blessid Union Of Souls. Proving that she is a "Girl On A Mission," Holly wowed industry vets at the Mid Point Music Festival with her voice and stage presence, meanwhile causing a buzz around her name and talents at SXSW in 2005. It's not only Holly's amazing performance skills that are starting to bring her recognition and praise, her talents as a songwriter and recording artist are starting to open doors too, as Holly has recently had her music featured in MTV's Making The Video. With more than 400 shows under her belt and only a guitar on her back Holly has captivated the ears and hearts of everyone who has heard her introspective and poetic lyrics. Through her simply unique arrangements and melodies Holly strips her soul bare with every song she shares with the world and her gift is so powerful that she draws a following both male and female of all ages. Eliot Sloan of Blessid Union states, “Holly gives herself totally to the music and one can’t help but to feel the emotion of every story she tells.” Now is the time for you to experience what only Holly Spears can deliver.