Keeping the Blues alive


July 10th, 2012

Omaha, NE – For one local musician, holding up the family tradition is helping keep a musical form alive.

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“After a while, I realized that my birthright was playing blues.” Shawn Holt, or “Lil Slim,” has been singing and playing the blues since he was a teenager.

The Lil’ Slim Blues Band will perform Wednesday night at Turner Park. (Courtesy photo)

The Lincoln- based musician is somewhat the product of blues royalty. His father, Morris Holt, or “Magic Slim,” made a name for himself in the late 70s and early 80s as an accomplished guitarist and singer on the Chicago blues circuit. After a successful recording and performing career, he settled down in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Now, his son has taken up the family calling. Making an electric guitar his weapon of choice, Holt has remained true to his father’s musical aspirations.

“The Blues is a dying art,” Holt said. “Black music itself is a dying art, but Blues itself is in trouble.”
“A lot of people just don’t get into it as much as they used to back in the day,” he said. “We’re trying to get the younger crowd to understand it. I feel that it’s my job to carry the torch. My father’s not going to live forever. I love it that much that I’m going to struggle for awhile to make sure the music gets heard.”

And so far, that struggle has been a successful one. Holt has surrounded himself with other talented musicians from across the country and has made the Midwest his musical stomping grounds. Each local show is a stripped down performance of blues in its rawest form.

“It makes you say ‘Yeah!’ It brings a lot out of you,” Holt said. “If you want to come to a show, and you want to see some authentic music being played, at its best I’ve been told, well come and see us.”

“We put so much feeling in it, I think a lot of people can relate.”

The Lil’ Slim Blues Band will perform Wednesday, August 2nd at Midtown Crossing’s Jazz on the Green series in Turner Park at 7 pm.

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