Four-time Grammy Award-winning folk musician David Holt is a born troubadour. Behind his energizing musicianship (often featuring unusual instruments like "the paper bag") is a deep love of hidden Appalachian wisdom and storytelling that shines on every stage he takes.
As a youngster, David Holt knew he wanted to master the banjo. His quest to that end brought him into the tucked-away communities of the remote Appalachian Mountains, where traditional folk music is still ingrained in the way of life. In his years there, he met some too-enchanting-to-be-true characters and a few local living legends (Wade Mainer, Dellie Norton) -- complete with anecdotes from older and harder times. He also picked up some unusual musical skills beyond the banjo: he's now a virtuoso of the mouth bow, the bottleneck slide guitar and the paper bag.
Holt has won four Grammys and has starred in several radio and television programs, such as Folkways, which visits regional craftsmen and musicians. (He also performed in the 2000 film, O Brother, Where Art Thou?.) He currently tours the country doing solo performances, and accompanied by his band The Lightning Bolts.
“It was like a library, just full of vacuum tubes as far as you could see, just floors and floors of these things, and one of the engineers said, some day you’re going to be able to put this thing in your pocket. I thought, damn, those are going to be some big pants!”— on seeing a computer in 1957
“The old timers didn’t take a fancy guitar string and make anything like this [mouth bow]. They would just take a stick and a catgut and string it up. It was hard on the cats, but it made a great little instrument.”