Sam Holt, who worked as guitar tech for late Widespread Panic guitarist Michael Houser and subsequently subbed in for Houser in the summer of 2006 after Houser’s passing in 2002, recently spoke with PanicStream about his experience playing with the band, his days as a taper and his solo band, with whom Holt will present a series of tributes to Houser this month.
In a preview of the full PanicStream interview, Ted Rockwell asks Holt about the summer 2006 tour, during which, Holt admits, “I was pretty nervous, you know, each night as we walked out there. But then it would subside pretty quickly. And you know, it was a lot of fun. Felt like I won the lottery in a lot of ways. Just connecting with those guys musically, it was pretty awesome.”
Holt also notes generally that his mark of a good show was how into the music John Bell got, and specifically cites a couple highlight nights of the tour, August 5 in Portsmouth, VA, and August 13 in Chicago, IL, the second of which featured a Holt original from his band Outformation, “Tennessee Before Daylight.”
“Actually, I’d been trying to get that one in there a couple shows and I had it written out to the side on the third night and JB looked at it and goes ‘Well, if I were you I’d put it between Wrangler and Chilly.’ And I was like, ‘Okay. Let’s do it! I feel very lucky. I think it was just one of those moments those two weeks were just kind of…you know, I don’t know if it’s destiny or whatever but it was kind of cathartic for everyone in a way.”
Holt also discusses the formation of the Sam Holt Band, which features Spanky McCluer, Andy Clapp, and Adam Stern, and his plan for three upcoming shows dubbed “Remembering Mikey: The Music, Memory and Spirit of Michael Houser.” Holt says the shows, set for April 5, 6 and 7 in Augusta, GA, Asheville, NC and Charleston, SC, will feature some Houser tunes along with Holt originals that are inspired by the late guitarist.
More information on the Houser tribute shows can be found at the links above. The full Holt PanicStream interview will be published in the next few weeks. Read the full preview here.