Kit Holmes
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Kit Holmes

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE
Band Pop Jazz

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New album from singer/songwriter Kit Holmes unveils honest reflection of adult relationships
The roads that Return to Love can be ridden with potholes and busted signposts. Singer/songwriter Kit Holmes is painfully aware of this. "You're really good/At saying how you love me," Holmes declares on "Blue Guitar."

In the highway of heartbreak, love is too often stated but not proven. Action does speak louder than words, and Holmes' latest album, Return to Love, is pop music filtered through a mature perspective. A lifetime's worth of broken promises creates scars that no amount of "baby" talk can heal. The complexities of adult relationships are placed under a microscope and Holmes unveils their bumps and bruises with straightforward honesty. Prepare to be moved.

Holmes fits within the style of classic, confessional female solo acts such as Carole King and Carly Simon. Like those artists, she is effortlessly able to wrap hummable melodies around particularly stinging lyrics. "Split Decision," for example, features some engaging, jazzy piano but the song is actually whether or not taking back a lying old lover or finally leaving him behind like a dog burying a bone. "Beggin', cryin' on the phone/Should I throw my life away ‘cause you just can't handle being alone?" Holmes sings, outlining the indecision weighing on her wounded heart.

Holmes produced the album herself, and it has a definite early ‘70s feel to it. Most of the finest records during that era had crisp, crystalline sound; each instrument made its presence known. On the title cut, Roger Friend's drums have the kind of punch that isn't often heard in these days of overly processed recordings.

Although a lyric sheet is thoughtfully provided, one can hear Holmes' every word. She sings them with the soaring confidence of a survivor, a woman who's been there and done that. "So send him packing down the road/With the dogs at his heels," Holmes advises on "Bad Seed." Nobody said returning to love would ever be easy. - Jazz Corner Magazine (July 18, 2011)


The piano-based melodies of singer/songwriter Kit Holmes may suggest Norah Jones, but the confessional, introspective romantic laments on her new record Return to Love are wrapped in an unmistakable '70s pop sensibility that actually echoes more Carole King's Tapestry. Nearly every track on Return to Love could have been played on AM radio back in the day, and as a lyricist Holmes would've held her own against the likes of Adult Contemporary staples such as James Taylor and Carly Simon.

As the album title suggests, Return to Love is mainly concerned with romantic relationships, especially with the difficulties of healing and moving forward after one has had its fire snuffed out. Surviving a breakup is like crawling from a wreckage and then trying to drive again; there are equal amounts of trepidation and excitement, anger and newly found joy, and Holmes covers all of the bases with honesty and warmth. Holmes actually opens the record on a positive note with the title cut. “But when my heart is open/ And my mind is clear/I know I can," Holmes sings with cautious optimism. The song's mellow groove comforts the heavy weight in the words. Holmes is clearly not saying that the time of acceptance has arrived; she is singing of some imaginary future date when all's well.

Conflicting emotions make their presence known as well; indeed, love is never simple. Holmes' sultry delivery on “Bad Seed" may suggest desire but the lyrics have the sting of a spurned lover's slap to the face. In “Bad Seed," Holmes focuses on the vulnerability many people, male or female, have towards the aggressive pull of the dangerous kind, which often leads to disappointment and bitterness. However, she speaks from the perspective of someone who is no longer going to put up with anybody's garbage. Holmes's show of strength is best exemplified by “Blue Guitar," in which her voice soars with self-confidence.

Holmes started writing tunes at the age of 9 but she didn't release her award-winning debut album, All I Know, until 2004. Return to Love finds Holmes reaching a level of musical craftsmanship and depth of feeling that is quite impressive and impossible to ignore. - All About Jazz Magazine (Oct 18, 2011)


"I love to hear Kit sing" - January 2006 - Old No. 9 Workshop, Waring, TX


Kit:

Thank you so much for all that you did to make the Joe's Crabshack Fundraiser run so smoothly and sound so great! We had a very good turn out, and it was a lot of fun. Your performance was awesome (as always!), and a great way to wrap up the night.

Thanks again for all you do for AMF and the local music community! We love working with you!
Suzanne
--
Suzanne Quinn
Executive Director
Austin Music Foundation
- Austin Music Foundation


“[Kit’s] got the goods: incredible musical talent, songwriting chops and an amazing, original voice”

Austin Songwriter's Group workshop session, 2006


Bill Carter - hit songwriter for Stevie Ray Vaughn (“Crossfire”), The Stray Cats, Robert Palmer and others as well songs for major motion pictures (“Once Upon a Time in Mexico”, “The Secret Life of David Gale”, “From Dusk ‘til Dawn”) and television (“King Of The Hill”).
- Kit Holmes Music


Austin, Texas-based singer/songwriter Kit Holmes has a great CD that no music ministry should be without. This CD is full of empowering lyrics and beautiful melodies. The songs are accessible with a soloist or a full band. You can listen to clips of each of these songs and others on Kit's webpage listed at the end of this review.

The title cut, "It's a New Day" is a rocker. This song proclaims that each person has the power within them to create the life they want and you will be tapping your toes while affirming this.

"Choose What I Say" reminds us of the power of the spoken word. We all know this, but Kit has a fresh, sweet way of reminding us.

"Love First" is a haunting melody reminding us how beautiful our lives can be if we put the power of love first in everything. The lyrics explore how we react when our love is not returned and encourages us to love anyway. Very beautiful.

"Secret Place Within" is another song about the power of love, once again exploring the gift of live when viewed through the soft lens of love.

Our music ministry at Unity Church of Clearwater, Florida is using many of Kit's songs this February because her music is full of messages of hope and love. Kit tells me she is close to finishing a new CD and I eagerly await it.

Sue Riley, Sound Connections - Sound Connections e-magazine


The Bugle Boy Brings Back One of 2009’s
Most Surprising—and Fun—Evenings of Music

Austin Favorites Kit Holmes and Jean Synodinos return together to share the stage at The Bugle Boy in LaGrange.


Six months ago, audiences at The Bugle Boy in LaGrange were treated to musical magic when Austin singer-songwriters Kit Holmes and Jean Synodinos turned the average “song swap” on its head. Bugle Boy owner Lane Gosnay asked the two women on the spot to bring the magic back as soon as possible. Saturday, January 30th, they’ll be doing just that.
Their first appearance at The Bugle Boy marked the first time these songwriters sat on a stage together. Just for fun, these women suggested the evening be a little competitive to see who might outwit the other with song choices, smart lyrics, cool chords and deep grooves. The result was an emotional, spiritual and intellectual rollercoaster that enthralled the audience.
And who won that “competition?” When the audience declared it a complete tie at the end of the evening, a command performance was sure to follow. Round 2 comes at the last Saturday of the month from 8:00-10:00 p.m. Says Jean, “Last year’s show with Kit was the most fun I had as a performing songwriter in 2009. I think it kept both of us on our toes, and we not only surprised each other and the audience—we surprised ourselves. We can’t wait to get back on that stage together again.”
Kit Holmes is a one-woman musical wonder. Since her first paying gig at the ripe age of 13, this multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and award-winning songwriter has spent a lifetime “accentuating the positive” in her music. She's performed, composed, arranged, produced and engineered for solo artists, bands, festivals, small businesses, trade associations, churches and theater groups nationwide. Kit’s 2007 album, It’s a New Day, has been making critical waves since its release. Sound Connections Newsletter raves, “This CD is full of empowering lyrics and beautiful melodies… her music is full of messages of hope and love.” Kit’s latest CD, “Shadows & Light”, produced by Austin legend Stephen Doster is due out this spring. For more about Kit and to listen to tracks, visit www.kitholmesmusic.com.
Jean Synodinos (that’s sin-uh-DEE-nus) delivers “smart-sexy acoustic-soul for the big kids in the room.” Her voice has been hailed by critics as “show-stopping,” and her award-winning writing (including Kerrville’s New Folk competition) digs deep lyrically, moving from big affirmations to little ironies at the turn of a phrase. An accomplished acoustic guitarist, Jean jumps from rock to jazz to pop in order to find the right groove and tone for each song. Known for her dynamic performances, she lives to “read the room” and deliver shows that keep audiences returning for more. John Conquest of Third Coast Music says, “There's no mistaking that marvelous voice, but if that alone gives her a decided advantage in the massed ranks of Austin’s Girls With Guitars, she piles it on by writing songs that are extraordinarily inventive and distinctive... she writes poetry that can be sung.” For more information, visit www.jeansynodinos.com.

With its inviting atmosphere and exceptional sound, The Bugle Boy has become increasingly recognized as a world-class music venue to both area audiences and artists nationally. Tickets for this show are $15. The Bugle Boy is located at 1051 N. Jefferson Street (Highway 77) in La Grange. For more information, directions or tickets, visit www.thebugleboy.com or call (979) 968-9944.
- Synodinos/Holmes


"I'm a big fan of Kit's Music" - Austin School of Music songwriting workshop. - KitHolmesMusic


Kit's got great songs and a great voice!" - Austin Songwriter's Group Song Doctor sessions - Kit Holmes Music


Discography

"Return To Love" (12 tracks), self-released, March 2011; "Its a New Day" (9 tracks) self-released, September 2007; "All I Know", (6 tracks) self-released July 2004; "Bearden Creek Meditation", single, self-released January 2004; "Big Red Cadillac", single (on multi-artist compilation album) released October 1995; Musician and vocal session credits on more than 30 independent album projects from 1994 to the present. Mastering/engineering and/or producing credits on more than 200 independent recording projects from 1990 to the present.

All the tracks for "All I Know", "It's a New Day" and "Return to Love" are available for download (purchase) at www.kitholmesmusic.com as well as Itunes, Amazon and other fine digital retailers. Digital radio play on OneVibrationRadio.com, UnityFM.com, GratitudeRadio.com. and more.

Photos

Bio

For more than 25 years, Kit has played in studios and on stages as a musician and vocalist, producer and engineer for original rock, country, R&B, folk/Americana and jazz groups. In late 2001, she moved to Austin Texas to focus on songwriting, composing and promoting her brand of intelligent, upbeat music.

Influenced by such writers and performers as Joni Mitchell, George Gershwin, Sting, Annie Lennox, Carly Simon, Steven Sondheim, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, John Mayer, Randy Newman, Bonnie Raitt and Patti Labelle, Kit's music features intelligent, clever and often humorous lyrics and lush, intricate harmonies over smooth, powerful piano chops.

Kit entered her first songwriting contest in 2004 and came away a finalist with her song, "Take Me Back". In 2005, Kit garnered a 3rd place award for "All I Know", and another finalist bid for the instrumental "Swing Set". In late 2006, Kit was again a songwriting contest finalist with "Headed West". 2007 brought a third place award for "Its a New Day" and a finalist nod for "Fishin', Baseball, Boats and Beer".

Every vocal and instrument track, every lyric and arrangement on Kit's first three CDs ("All I Know", "Bearden Creek" and "It's a New Day") were created by the extraordinary talents of Kit Holmes in her home studio.