Tennessee native Scott Holt made a name for himself initially as the protégé of the great Buddy Guy. Since moving out on his own, Holt has started to make a name for himself as a songwriter and as a guitarist in his own right.
Angels in Exile is Scott Holt's third solo CD. It is also his first since leaving Buddy's band after a ten-year stint as Guy's second guitarist. Holt's music represents a special blend of blues and rock that at times struck me as the "blues meets the Stone Temple Pilots."
Eight of the twelve songs on Angels In Exile are originals' co-written by Holt and such songwriters as Grammy Award Winner Dennis Walker, Danny Tate, and Richard Fleming. The CD includes burning guitar rifts, great lyrics and soulful vocals. the originals are combined with covers of songs by such notables as Bob Dylan ("Blind Willie McTell") and Little Feat ("Spanish Moon"). In fact, Holt is a joined on the disc for both of these songs by Paul Barrere and Billy Payne from Little Feat.
Among the originals, "Too Far Gone" is an excellent song that is reminiscent of Stevie Ray Vaughn's classic "Cold Shot". The title tune, "Angels in Exile" is a soulful mid-tempo number that includes some excellent guitar by Holt. On "The Unforgiven", Holt incorporates a heavier sound that really would fit well on any recording by bands like Stone Temple Pilots or Alice in Chains. Although "The Unforgiven" lacks any real "blues" feel, it is still an excellent song.
For those seeking a blusier feeling, focus on the opener "Baby Let's Go," the boogie laden, "I'll Make Love To You Anytime" or Dylan's classic, "Blind Willie McTell." The guitar on these, as well as the other songs on the CD is exceptional and Holt's vocals seem to improve with each new recording.
Scott Holt is an emerging talent that will hopefully gain a higher profile with Angels in Exile. To find out more about Scott Holt or the new CD visit the Blue Storm Music website at www.bluestormmusic.com.
This review is copyright © 2001 by Dave "Doc" Piltz, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission. For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.