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.
â€œAfter a while, I realized that my birthright was playing blues.â€ Shawn Holt, or â€œLil Slim,â€ has been singing and playing the blues since he was a teenager.
The Lincoln- based musician is somewhat the product of blues royalty. His father, Morris Holt, or â€œMagic Slim,â€ 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 fatherâ€™s musical aspirations.
â€œThe Blues is a dying art,â€ Holt said. â€œBlack music itself is a dying art, but Blues itself is in trouble.â€
â€œA lot of people just donâ€™t get into it as much as they used to back in the day,â€ he said. â€œWeâ€™re trying to get the younger crowd to understand it. I feel that itâ€™s my job to carry the torch. My fatherâ€™s not going to live forever. I love it that much that Iâ€™m going to struggle for awhile to make sure the music gets heard.â€
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.
â€œIt makes you say â€˜Yeah!â€™ It brings a lot out of you,â€ Holt said. â€œIf you want to come to a show, and you want to see some authentic music being played, at its best Iâ€™ve been told, well come and see us.â€
â€œWe put so much feeling in it, I think a lot of people can relate.â€
The Lilâ€™ Slim Blues Band will perform Wednesday, August 2nd at Midtown Crossingâ€™s Jazz on the Green series in Turner Park at 7 pm.
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