James Holt

FROM the depths of Manchester's urban sprawl, twenty-one year old, James Holt has risen from the masses, staying well away from the stereotypical 'madchester' vibe.

Harder than Jake Bugg and more commercial than most of the rockabilly genre, Holt's captivating sound is almost certainly a gift from the gods.

Holding a wealth of knowledge, his debut release, 'In the Face of It All', exposes a raw vitality many musicians lack, softly calling listeners to the melodic coo that pours itself from the firm backdrop of harmonica and guitar.

Tracks such as 'Promises At Dawn' and, 'I Thought You Were Crying (But It Was Just the Rain)' portray a more sombre outlook on general everyday life dilemmas. Slowly driving a spear through the hearts of many listeners, there are heavy connotations towards the later solo work of Lennon and Dylan, embracing a beautifully frank version of the world around us. Breaching at a point of unforgivable prowess, Holt carries our emotions in his glorified vocality, protecting the delicate intertwining chords that dazzle angels from the land above.



Other tracks like 'Whatever Happened to John?' - which supposedly had taken influence from George Orwell's Ninety Eighty-Four, optimise the legendary Johnny Cash through and through, symbolising iconic numbers such as Folsom Prison Blues. By rejuvenating the love many feel for the countrified twang of acoustics, Holt has provided the ultimate comeback this sound so desperately needed to keep the fire burning.


With artists like James Holt, we're never going to be short of real guitar music. Be sure to get your copy of 'In the Face of It All' on 2nd March.


Words by Lauren Jones

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lauren@themusicmanual.co.uk