Music News

Elliot Holden Group

While the Strat-brandishing virtuoso is something of a cliche in rock music, those who can wield a Fender with precision do possess the ability to grab our attention. Having paid his dues touring with '90s hip-hop act First Born in addition to logging fret time alongside Memphis soul crooner William Bell, Elliot Holden demonstrates the nimble-fingered dexterity to do just that. It's no wonder he's earned opening slots for Derek Trucks and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band while prompting comparisons to enshrined six-string heroes such as Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck. But stretched analogies aside, Holden brings his own fresh talent to the game. On his latest platter, Radiance, he moves agilely through jazz-inspired arrangements to funk-and blues-tinged fare and beyond. He even shines up a shimmering acoustic gem (the title track) and presents a pair of tunes, "Ghetto" and "Loradeath," that feature vocals punctuated, naturally, by lush guitar work. Mix in bassist Keith Jenkins and drummer Erik Hargrove from James Brown's band, and you've got an ensemble capable of moving the groove around while not losing sight of the one.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Nick Hutchinson writes about music for Westword and enjoys playing his guitar when not on deadline.
Contact: Nick Hutchinson