Expect a new sound and more music from Tyler bluesman Edwin Holt.

Holt started out 20 years ago performing in south Dallas clubs and juke joints. As his popularity in R&B circles grew, he and his 12-piece band headlined festivals and shared the stage with the legendary B.B. King and Al Green.

Holt still sings the brand of blues that sounds as if it oozed from the depths of the Mississippi Delta but his big band of yesteryear has morphed into the much smaller Edwin Holt's Red Clay Roadhouse Band. The wailing horns and saxes have been replaced by banjo, dobro, upright bass, fiddle and drums.

Think of it as blues meets bluegrass.

Holt became exhilarated about the mash-up of these different genres when during an impromptu jam session, he started singing soulful songs and his friends on guitar and banjo (one the most untraditional blues instruments imaginable) joined in.

Holt said they fused "sounds that had not been brought together. ... I knew right away I wanted to do something with it."

In a concert this year, Holt collaborated with ChessBoxer, a Nashville based trio known for adapting R&B to arrangements featuring banjo, fiddle and bass, which was exactly what Holt had in mind.

Holt and his new Red Clay Roadhouse Band are planning to hold a series of concerts at Liberty Hall, including one on Feb. 6 that will be recorded and released as an album produced by Robin Hood Brians of Tyler.

Holt is excited about the band's future and playing part in making downtown Tyler a more vibrant music scene.

"We can make this city shine," he said.

 

With a new

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