Alabama native makes his kind of blues

Adam Holt

There’s just something special about the sound of musicians who were raised in the south, a swagger, the use of terms, the way the guitar speaks and a kinship where you don’t have to know the person, but already know you’d like them.

That’s how I felt when I put the new CD by Adam Holt — Kind of Blues on my portable CD player at work. I could also feel the honesty, the struggle any musician experiences during these digital days.

Thank goodness for the old school guys like Adam and me.

“With every song on the album, I wanted to speak from the heart,” Adam said. “Be it my own experience or the experiences of those that I love. Above all, it was most important to me to capture the meaning of the vintage sound, using analog gear and a workflow that reflects the hey-day of the recording industry: a time when music was alive and truly meant something.”

The sound is country, blues, rock, — a combination like old school Johnny Cash and newer flourishes like Tom Petty. In 2010, he shot out an EP featuring two tracks recorded at the legendary Sun Studio in Memphis. Holt lived up to the legacy of such a unique location with his versions of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Killing Floor” and Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues.”

Though currently wearing out Alabama and Florida locales like Pensacola, he’s toured from Houston to Tallahassee to Chattanooga, and shared the stage with Lynyrd Skynyrd and Drivin’ n Cryin.’

This CD starts out with a nod to the importance of DJs and drive time — “Mr. Morning Drive.”

“Mr. Morning Drive,’ is the first track on the album and was co-written with my wife, singer-songwriter Jillian Holt,” he said. “The song is about the amazing life of her grandfather, Jack Bell, who was a radio DJ for over 50 years and retired at the golden age of 90. You hear his actual voice, recorded on a vintage microphone, at the beginning and end of the song. His voiceover sets the tone for the album by introducing the song.”

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