Muddy Waters once said, “The blues had a baby, and they named the baby rock n’ roll.” Well if Muddy Waters and Tom Petty had a baby, they’d name the baby Adam Holt. And with an array of Gibson guitars, an old Ampex tape machine, and an unassuming group of musicians out of Mobile in his toolset, Alabama singer-songwriter Adam Holt’s latest studio album is a gutsy amalgamation of his deeply sown roots in the blues, classic country, and rock n’ roll of decades ago.
No stranger to the spotlight, Adam has toured the Southeast from Houston to Tallahassee to Chattanooga, playing everywhere from music festivals to dive bars, and sharing the stage with such southern rock icons as Lynyrd Skynyrd and Drivin’ n Cryin’, as well as blues legends Bob Margolin, Willie Big Eyes Smith, and Hubert Sumlin (from Muddy Waters’ and Howlin’ Wolf’s bands, respectively). From time to time, you may find the multi-instrumentalist lending his piano chops in either an up-tempo dueling piano bar or a more intimate lounge venue, pouring his heart out to fans of Lionel Richie, Chicago, and Elton John.
But his forte is in being direct. Direct with what he has to say both lyrically and in how he responds on the guitar. As a songwriter, Holt voices his opinion tongue in cheek with rock songs like ‘Big Girls’, addressing the stereotypes of women in modern society, and in the upcoming blues song ‘The Bourgeoisie’ which takes a stab at corporate America and those who revel in the vanity of the spoils. His songs stand on their own with just an old acoustic guitar, but lend well and lay the foundation for his big, southern, velvety voice and his honest interpretation of what an electric guitar can truly sound like. It’s American music at the core, and Alabama blues and rock at the fringes.
In 2010, Adam released the well-received album, The Sunday Troubadour. Recently, he topped it with a new EP, featuring two new tracks recorded at the legendary Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee. This is where legends like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash had their start, and Adam 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.’
The artist is currently gearing up for the release of his latest album Kind of Blues, due out on May 31st. Holt enlisted the assistance of his wife, singer-songwriter Jillian Holt to co-pen songs like ‘Mr. Morning Drive’, ‘Before I Trusted You’, and ‘Don’t Give Up On Me Baby’. ‘Mr. Morning Drive’, the album’s opener, is the story of Jillian’s grandfather, Jack Bell, who was an on-air radio DJ and personality for over 5 decades until his retirement at the golden age of 90. His actual voiceover sets the tone for the album by introducing the song with his famous radio slate. The song’s up-tempo, pop rock feel is solidified by heavy electric guitar blues licks.
While most songs on the album are a blend of southern rock, country, and blues, you’ll find songs like ‘The End’, ‘Give the Dog a Bone’, and ‘The Bourgeoisie’ will satisfy listeners of a more traditional blues format. Rounding out the album is Adam’s rendition of a Bob Dylan classic: a pedal steel laden ‘Lay Lady Lay’.