Bluesman Returns to Richmond 

Friday, Holt brings his band to Shenanigans for an evening of tunes from his excellent new release "The Blue Side." The project reveals a side of Holt new to folks who knew him back in the day only as a dynamic blues and rock pianist.

Holt's new songs are finely crafted and filled with reflection, truth and pain. And whether he's rocking or singing one of the project's soulful ballads, it's not to be mistaken for the navel-gazing of a hack. He uses one of the album's tunes to explain.

"I'm searching for inspiration all the time," he says. "'Heal Her Heart.' I didn't have any idea what that song meant. I just got that line. So I had to get there and dig and dig."

Is he worried that the diverse collection of tunes is too stylistically scattered?

"I'm in a business where people try to narrowly pigeonhole things," says Holt. "I just wanted to make it cohesive." — Ames Arnold

Ericson Holt and band play Shenanigans, 4017 MacArthur Ave., Friday, Oct. 29. The band will play two sets starting at 8:30 p.m. Call 264-5010 for information.



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