Scott Holt
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Reprinted from Elmore Magazine Mar/Apr 2006
REVELATOR
By Doug Richardson

On the first trip through any new blues album, particularly by an artist I’m hearing for the first time, I love to discover what surfaces first: a great voice, original and meaningful lyrics, or mastery of an instrument. I like to skip the liner notes, bypass the biography and just soak up what’s coming out of the speakers. In Revelator, it was the guitar that got me first; was that Clapton, Jeff Beck and Hendrix that Scott Holt was channeling? And damned well at that!
Then the printed matter cleared it all up. Buddy Guy, who fed the heads and fingers of a dozen “A” list guitarists, was Holt’s guru, too, and the licks that bubble as well as explode to the surface in Revelator’s 15 cuts are both equally reminiscent of chops you’ve known for 30 years as well as original, fresh and - dare it be said? – Amazing. “Price I Pay” gathers the old and serves it new. “Sunday”, the opener that’s reprised near the end of the CD, conjures a little gospel/revival feel, particularly with the help of backup singers Melinda Doolittle and Janet Kenyon (wife of bass man/keyboards/co-writer Keith). They also bring depth to “’Bout To Make Me Leave Home” and “I Know A Little”. “Another Rainy Day” and “Shorty” begin with unadorned straight acoustic testimony and become much richer with the additional voices and Greg Shumake’s piano.
Holt’s virtuosity doesn’t stop with his skills on the guitar. The end of a romance is arguably the single most used and abused theme in blues music, and a new take on it is as rare as a Picasso in a trailer park. “Civil War” is a lyrical standout and verifies Holt’s solid credentials as a songwriter, employing new metaphor just when you thought the well was dry.
Mr. Holt, if you are reading this, I have one serious criticism and emphatic suggestion: lose the drum machine. If the essence of all great blues music is the heart and soul the musicians bring to a song, there’s nothing that can kill it faster than a tinny, techno pop drum line generated by computer chips instead of a flesh and blood stickman who can either lead or follow you around all the corners. Bring back the hot hands of your earlier albums and concerts and leave the electronics to Kylie Minouge.
If Revelator is your first Scott Holt experience, as it was for me, you’ll be faced with the same task I’ve given myself; go find his first four CDs and trace his evolution from rock, through blues, to the unique fusion that Revelator brings to the table.
- Elmore Magazine


Throughout the 1990s, Scott Holt,
originally from Lawrenceburg, TN, was the
Buddy Guy Band’s secret weapon. At 19,
Holt began playing guitar upon hearing Jimi
Hendrix for the first time. After taking
lessons for a year and regularly practicing
for eight hours daily, Scott’s father took him
to see Buddy Guy. After meeting backstage,
a friendship formed that would last a lifetime,
resulting in Scott joining Buddy’s band at the
tender age of 23. At the end of 1999, Holt
quit Buddy’s band to pursue a solo career.
On Angels In Exile (Blue Storm Music),
Scott severs the ties to his blues musical
past, only glancing back occasionally
throughout the disc’s 12 tracks that last 55
minutes. This is the first Holt disc to contain
original material. Eight of his own songs are
included in this collection of fiery, hard
rocking, pop grooves that mix rock with
modern country. The tone of his six strings
is impressive on every song and all the
rhythms are catchy. It is rare to find an artist
who is equally talented with his guitar
playing, singing and songwriting. He is
strongly backed by Geno Haffner (keys),
Tom Larson (drums) and Keith Kenyon
(bass). Greg Hampton does a fine job
producing and was successful in capturing
Scott’s coarse energy, resulting in a disc
with a clear, crisp sound. Holt is now based
in Nashville and the influences of the Music
City are obvious on the title track. It sounds
like it may have been an outtake from the
Rolling Stones’ Some Girls sessions. Holt’s
southern drawl is Jagger-esqe on the song.
Nonetheless, its the best original tune on the
disc, including a wildly passionate guitar
solo, and it should prove to be a huge hit on
radio. He borrows a riff from SRV’s "Cold
Shot," and uses it as the driving force on
"Too Far Gone." "Dress You Up" is a
modern rock song in the vein of Pearl Jam,
with chain-saw, rumblin’, crunchin’ guitar. A
soft medley is interlaced with a powerchorded
chorus on "Up In Flames." Guest
musicians Paul Barrere and Billy Payne of
Little Feat round out the sound on "Spanish
Moon" and "Blind Willie McTell." On the
former, they add enough funk to make it the
best of the covers on the CD. Holt has a
winner with this irresistible tune. The guitar
work, piano playing and sheer energy will
appeal to anyone who has a pulse. Scott
gives it his all vocally on the latter. In fact, he
delivers the lyrics as if Blind Willie was his
all-time best friend. Things are toned down
on the standard "Got A Mind To Give Up
Living." Here, Holt’s always pleasant
sounding voice needs some grit to match
the intense pain expressed with his guitar.
He has the potential to soar to greater
heights in the rock arena, and thus should
be marketed for that field. If you were
expecting a young protégé of the blues, you
have come to the wrong place. If you have
come to hear a wailing, scorching rocker
who is destined to be on the next G3 tour,
you won’t be disappointed. Catch him in the
clubs and at the festivals before your only
choice is the nosebleeds at the stadiums.
By….Tim Holek
SCOTT HOLT • ANGELS IN EXILE
BSM 3001-2
www.ScottHolt.com - Blues Bytes




DME Music Review
SCOTT HOLT
Scott Holt comes not out of the blue, but
straight from the blues, having served
for years as a Buddy Guy apprentice.
Still, there's a little of Guy in Scott's
music - sure, veteran hardly needed a
mirror in his own band! Holt's a master
in his own right, yet his affinity for Peter
Green can't be denied, and it shines
through heartbreaking "I've Got A Mind
To Give Up Living" - sparse guitar lines,
Mayallish piano (thumbs up for Geno
Hattner!) and touching voice remind of
"Looking For Somebody". That's
arguably the best track off all, the most
authentic blues, lingering on to Dylan's
"Blind Willie McTell", which now
regained its appeal with swamp slide
threads across fiery playing. There are
two more veterans on this track, namely
Billy Payne and Paul Barrere of LITTLE
FEAT fame, all three pay a tribute to the
great late Lowell George by covering his
"Spanish Moon", and what an
interpretation it receives!
Then, this inspired approach makes it all
as contemporary as the blues can be, if
"Dress You Up" is blues at all, leaning
to alternative type of hard rock. No
doubt, though, about "The Unforgiven"
heavy roll casting the Jimi shade, but
what buys is the less decorated sincerity
of "Who You're Thinking Of" and "Too
Far Gone", voice and instrument stride
hand in hand, or "Baby Let's Go",
equally rough and smooth to get hooked
on. "Strong Enough For Goodbye" soul
feels strange here, but Scott lets guitar
do the talking and wins - even when
commercial gloss takes over, like in
"Angels In Exile". J.J. Cale's songs have
always been the walking stick, so Holt
fishes out "I'll Make Love To You
Anytime" and effectively wraps it in
Elmore James live envelope to juxtapose
to anxious gloom of "Up In Flames".
Scott Holt, a new keeper of the flame?
That will do, the blues won't get
dusty. - DME


Angels In Exile – BSM 3001-2

Don't let Scott Holt's
association with Buddy
Guy mislead you. He's a
closet rocker, and his third
solo release demonstrates
a desire to follow more in
the footsteps of his idol
Jimi Hendrix-than in those
of his employer. Nothing
wrong with that but with
the plethora of Kenny
Wayne Shepherds and
Jonny Langs out there, it
seems a surprisingly
limited choice-especially
considering Holt's chops
and quality schooling. His
last release, Dark of the
Night, announced the
guitarist's arrival with a
mixed bag of styles and
some credible celebrities.




Angels in Exile is no
different, though he's taken
the leap of incorporating
more original material.
I'd be lying if I didn't
admit to diving on the disc
given its guest list of Bill
Payne and Paul Barrere,
who assist Holt on a cover
of the Little Feat classic
"Spanish Moon" and a
ripping version of Dylan's
"Blind Willie McTell.")
The disc's worth the price
for the fleeting Feat fix
alone, with "Spanish
Moon" delivered in the
funky, multi-layered spirit
of the original.) But with a
few exceptions, Angels in
Exile doesn't deliver on
Holt's potential. He's still
searching for his voice.
He's got the pyrotechnics
to do the job, but the songs
are all over the map, the
styles too diverse to get a
handle on and the vocals
inconsistent. The opener is
a light rock piece saved by
Holt's soloing. "Too Far
Gone" successfully
conjures the ghost of
Stevie Ray Vaughan but
leaves a formulaic
aftertaste, while "Dress
You Up" is an odd flip,
marrying Arc Angels to
Metallica.




Starting with "Spanish
Moon," where Holt sits
back a bit and has some
fun, the album takes a turn
for the better. The slow
blues "I've Got A Mind To
Give Up Living" makes
the most of Holt's beefy
baritone and sets the stage
for some tasteful string
bending. The epic, seven-
minute take on "Blind
Willie McTell," starting
slow and building to a
scorching conclusion, best
reveals Holt's capabilities,
and the disc closes with
the atmospheric "Strong
Enough For Goodbye,"
which succeeds on Holt's
ability to hit a nerve. With
each step, this relatively
young player gets closer to
his game. His home run is
just a few more innings
away.
Review By - Eric Thom

- Guitar Noise


Discography

Slippin' In - Buddy Guy
Big Blues Extravaganza: The Best Of Austin City Limits - w/Buddy Guy
Messin' With The Kid
Dark Of The Night
Angels In Exile
Got Blues?Todays Blues Superstars (compilation)
Preachin' The Blues: Tribute To Mississippi Fred McDowell (compilation)
Chipped Front Tooth
Revelator
From Lettsworth To Legend - A Tribute To Buddy Guy

Photos

Bio

SCOTT HOLT
Scott Holt’s lineage can be traced easily back to the “ground zero” of the Blues. Scott was taken under the wing of Blues legend Buddy Guy just as Buddy had been taken in by Otis Rush and Muddy Waters.
It started on a cool fall night, at The London Victory Club in Tampa FL. After hearing his first Jimi Hendrix record and deciding that he simply had to play guitar, Scott Holt with his dad, went to see a blues legend in action. The rest as they say is history. Scott discovered everything that he'd ever wanted to be that night, in that club, on that stage, roaring through that 100’ guitar cable and pouring out of those Marshall speakers. After spending that night following Buddy out into the street to watch him play leaned up against a car, he spent the weekend following Buddy Guy and Junior Wells to their gigs in the area. He learned about Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, cognac, and the many uses of the word motherf***er. Buddy showed him licks and let him play his Guild guitar, which now hangs in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland. He went home from that gig with the determination to become a bluesman/musician/entertainer. He drove his parents and the neighbors’ crazy with really loud guitars and constant practicing. Some say as much as 8 hours a day! At home, he studied his growing record collection of everyone from Robert Johnson to John Coltrane. He formed the first incarnation of the Scott Holt Band and began laying the groundwork for a lifetime journey through the blues. Over the course of the next year, Scott had the opportunity to jam with Buddy at several gigs including the opening night of Buddy’s club Legend’s during the Chicago Blues Festival. In 1989, he got a call from Buddy Guy asking if he'd like to join his band. Saying yes led to 10 years of standing to Buddy's left on stages all over the world. Playing with everyone from Eric Clapton to Richard Gere! Playing Las Vegas and the Rose Bowl with the Rolling Stones. Playing on television shows like Austin City Limits, The Tonight Show, Conan Obrien and making the movie Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead. Traveling to Europe, South America, Asia and even the Middle East, spending nights playing in exotic places and seeing Carlos Santana or Ritchie Sambora show up to jam, or waiting to go on at the House of Blues in LA while Dan Akroyd and John Goodman worked out their introduction of Buddy. Playing The Hollywood Bowl, and being introduced by Bill Cosby with Hugh Hefner sitting in the front row. Sitting and talking with people like John Lee Hooker, Luther Allison, Albert Collins, Eric Clapton, Junior Wells, Koko Taylor and Willie Dixon. Meeting bands like AC/DC and Living Colour and listening to Ike Turner and Gary Busey tell jokes! Doing shows with everyone from Tony Bennett and Little Richard to Iggy Pop.
While with Buddy, Scott was also working at home in Nashville with his own band and developing a reputation in town as one of the premiere live bands. The original SHB laid the groundwork for all the musicians who have passed through this band to follow, a mixture of everything out of Scott’s record collection. Some nights The Thrill Is Gone could morph into Sweet Home Alabama, or Never Make Your Move To Soon could become Stevie Wonder’s I Wish. With the Blues as the foundation and the glue holding it all together, Scott put everything he was learning from Buddy into practice. Plenty of Scott and Buddy's conversations would start with Buddy saying "when you leave and go on your own..." So it was always sort of a forgone conclusion that someday Scott would have to leave the nest and make or break it on his own. It finally happened ten years later, almost to the day, in 2000 with the release of Dark Of The Night, Scott's 2nd solo CD. Featuring an amazing collection of musicians; Mitch Mitchell and Billy Cox, from The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Tommy Shannon, Chris Layton and Reese Wynans from Double Trouble and produced by Eddie Kramer who engineered albums by everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Led Zeppelin, it might be the best record you've never heard! The original version also included a recording of Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) with Mitch, Billy and Scott which was the first recording of that song by that rhythm section since they had last played it 30 years previously with it's composer Mr. Hendrix himself!
Four more records have followed, including, Angels In Exile, Chipped Front Tooth, Revelator and the latest From Lettsworth To Legend - A Tribute To Buddy Guy. These recordings have found Scott &Co. working with artists like Little Feat, Tab Benoit and even American Idol contestant Melinda Doolittle. Scott and his band have burned through more vans, racked up more miles and played more shows in the last seven years than The Rolling Stones, Elvis and The Beatles combined!
It’s the Blues, it’s real music, not music made by machines or computers. Its music played from the heart ev