The Holts are a family with deep roots in bluegrass music, and thirty plus years writing and performing heartfelt songs with a plainspoken blue collar message and sensibility. Starting with brothers Aubrey and Jerry Holt, who formed the celebrated Boys From Indiana with Harley Gabbard in the early 1970s, and now with Tony Holt (Aubrey’s son) & The Wildwood Valley Boys, the family has earned their reputation for presenting sincere expressions of simple life, hard work and love of family in their music.
And they aren’t finished yet, as evidenced by their fifth Rebel release, Daylight’s Burnin’, out today (4/25). Almost all were written by one Holt or another, the majority by Aubrey, and all concern the familiar themes referenced above, which have been their staple for years. The family connection is especially prominent, with Aubrey contributing a lovely waltz, Sweet Maggie Belle, which he wrote as a remembrance of his mother, Maggie Holt, and Tony’s composition, Old Granddad.
The close harmony heard throughout this CD has been a hallmark of both Boys From Indiana and The Wildwood Valley Boys, but this project also makes recognition of Tony Holt’s growing status and reputation as a lead vocalist, giving him co-billing with the band. Brother duets also have a great history in traditional music, and the father-son duets from Aubrey and Tony Holt are defining a new category. With Evan McGregor, who both sings baritone parts and plays fiddle with the group, the trios breathe with a single voice, giving the vocals on this CD the power to captivate a listener wholly apart from the song itself.
Rebel will also release a Boys From Indiana reissue today, as a part of their Vault Series. This one is entitled Good Times Blues, and includes 14 tracks taken from their early recordings on the King Bluegrass label.