Grammy-winning artist coming to Citizens Center

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Grammy-winning artist coming to Citizens Center

Posted on: January 25th, 2014 by tommyj

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Staff Writer

The Lincoln County Concert Association plans to bring four-time Grammy Award-winning musician and entertainer David Holt and his band the Lightning Bolts to the Citizens Center on Saturday.

From television to radio to the movie screen — appearing as a musician in 2001’s Oscar-winning film “O, Brother, Where Art Thou?” — the traditional folk musician’s successful career seems complete.

However, during an exclusive interview earlier this month with the Lincoln Times-News, the Asheville resident revealed plans for a new television series, “David Holt’s State of Music,” slated to debut more than a year from now on PBS-TV.

“I’m always doing something new,” he said.

Holt’s prior television experience has included a more than 35-year career as host of the local network’s program “Folkways,” which captures some of the North Carolina’s earliest traditions and the residents who keep such state history alive, along with a variety of programs on The Nashville Network (TNN) and guest appearances on The Grand Ole Opry, “Hee Haw” and “Nashville Now.”

Many of Holt’s episodes of “Folkways” over the years have brought him to Lincoln County to interview local artists like now-deceased potter Burlon Craig who, at the time, resided in Vale, Holt said.

While early in his life, the seasoned musician had no intention of dedicating his life to entertaining, he “fell in love” with the bluegrass/folk style around 1969, while engaging with singer/songwriters in North Carolina’s mountain communities.

“I just wanted to learn,” he said.

Holt soon gained an interest in the banjo — quite the opposite of the rock n’ roll phase he found himself in during his teen years.

As his love for mountain music grew, he began to collect unusual instruments such as the washboard and mouth bow, later incorporating each object’s sound into his shows.

It wasn’t until 1974, Holt said, when an Asheville library asked him to perform a concert that he realized the true extent of his passion for musical performance.

Holt noted that he formed his current group, David Holt and the Lightning Bolts, in 2000 in an attempt to form a band with sounds from the western part of the state.

“We are really trying to bring a lively show with a lot of variety…and traditional mountain music,” he said.

Oftentimes, Holt will incorporate comedy and stories into his concerts, including photographs of pioneer musicians. He considers one of his main musical goals to be carrying on the legacy started by some of the earliest generations of folk music such as Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs and Doc Watson.

“I’m a person who has helped keep older music in the public eye,” he said.

Holt not only toured the country with Watson for 14 years, but also celebrated a Grammy win alongside him in 2002.

The duo received the coveted Grammy Award that year for “Best Traditional Folk Recording” for their “Legacy” album.

“That (moment) was really special to me,” Holt said.

While he had previously been nominated, winning his first Grammy in 1999 and three other times over the years, standing on stage with Watson 12 years ago proved to be one of his career highlights, he said.

Holt has been nominated for a Grammy a total of eight times.

His show Saturday at the Citizens Center will start at 7:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the door. Cost is $20 for seniors and adults and $5 for children 18 and under. For more information, call (828) 428-6285.

Holt’s full biography can be viewed at


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