Holden’s guitar leads in all his music, but like all good leaders, he knows when to let other instruments shine or play a strong supporting role. His playing — by turns fiery and sublime — has been compared to the guitar elite such as Eric Johnson, Jeff Beck, and Jimi Hendrix.
But his goal is not to play the imitation game, it’s to apply music muscle when strength is needed and reduce the noise when quiet must rule. It’s not uncommon to find yourself humming the chorus even before the song finishes.
Elliot has a way of taking an old familiar song, one everyone knows, one everybody expects to do this thing at that time. But when Holden brings the hooks around, eyes widen in surprise and suddenly everything old is new again and the listener rediscovers a lost love. Old memories sharpen and new ones are made.
But never mind the unforgettable versions of covers. It’s in his original music where we hear Elliot best: The realities of Rock, Jazz, Blues, Classical, Funk, and Hip Hop augmented by a wider worldview, for this military brat picked up influences from around the world as he traveled with his father from base to base.
In his freshman year of high school, after seeing the movie “Crossroads” featuring the music of Steve Vai, Ry Cooder, and William Kanengiser, Elliot knew music would be his path.
He immerses even new listeners’ psyches into his music as if they were sliding on an old pair of favorite, soft-washed jeans still sturdy enough to haul ass while driving a big rig through a dark desert night.
Elliot prides himself on being that guitar player for those who wouldn’t normally find themselves listening to guitar-based music.
Since first starting to play guitar Elliot has always written his own music. At the time it just seemed like the easiest way to learn to play but would later serve as critical foundation in his musical development. He released his first album in 1995, for a total of four albums to date.
Elliot is set to release his latest album for digital download and streaming. Physical CDs will be available at live shows.
Elliot’s diverse musical style has earned him opening slots with such acts as The Derek Trucks Band, Snoop Dog, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Adrian Belew, Erykah Badu, Sonny Landreth, Porter Batise Stoltz, and many others.
Elliot’s been featured in GUITAR PLAYER Magazine’s Spotlight.
“Make the music accessible and more people will listen.”
Elliot Holden, Urban Guitar Legend