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Sound Circuit

Better late than never

8/12/2015

Unlike virtually everyone else in the local music scene, Brian Holtz did not come to music as a toddler, amped up and ready to rock. Instead, Holtz came to the game later than perhaps anyone else performing in town today.

“I was a cop for 30 years,” he said. “I retired in 2005 (from) the Sheriff’s office. Six months before I retired, I was driving home with my wife, and I said, ‘I think I know what I want to do after I retire. I think I want to be a musician.’ And she said, ‘That’s great, Brian, but don’t you have to play something?’ ”

The Brian Holtz Band plays Greenwood Lounge on Saturday, Aug. 15 at 9 p.m.

The Brian Holtz Band plays Greenwood Lounge on Saturday, Aug. 15 at 9 p.m.

And so it came to be that Holtz, freshly retired and with nothing but time on his hands, decided to learn a new skill.

“I was at a stoplight downtown one day,” he said, recalling the day he found his first instrument. “I see this set of conga drums in a store window for 75 bucks. I walked in, paid for them, took them home.

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“For the next three months, I did nothing, 24/7, except play with Tito Puente and Santana records, learning how to play those conga drums.”

From there, open jams and gigs with friends came along. Eventually that led to a stint with the Bob Pace Band, where Holtz added guitar to his repertoire and garnered invaluable experience playing with some of the best musicians around. Holtz finally left that gig because, as he puts it, he “had this wacky idea that he could write music.”

“So, for the next year, I sat in my solarium and wrote,” he continued.

After spending time as a solo artist playing a mixture of originals and covers at various places around the state, Holtz decided to add a few other musicians and start a band. Since then, he has tried out his share of musicians — he says he has gone through eight musicians in the band’s four years — but is finally completely happy with the roster as it stands. He sees a bigger future ahead for the Brian Holtz Band.

“I’m a big Tower of Power fan,” he said. “That’s my dream at the end of this thing. I want to add some horns and some chicks to sing backup. But that’s down the road.” CV

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