Interview; Playing Beachland Ballroom
June 10, 2018
Singer-songwriter Christina Holmes has recently released her second album titled Stand Up. She will be performing at the Beachland Ballroom on Monday, June 18 and we had the chance to catch up with her to preview the show.
Greg Drugan: Hi Christina, how are you doing today?
Christina Holmes: Good! Thank you for taking the time to talk with me.
GD: My pleasure! Are you out on the road?
CH: No, I'm preparing to leave. I go out on Tuesday, I'm making a trek out to Minnesota for a festival called Project Earth.
GD: Oh ok, so where's home?
CH: I'm in Rhode Island, just chillin' at my house trying to get all of my stuff together.
GD: I have to say, Stand Up is one of the most positive and uplifting records that I have ever heard. Are you generally an upbeat person?
CH: Oh, thank you so much! Some people love it that I'm super upbeat or some people think I'm aggressive. I am happy and energetic most of the time. I'm always trying to live life to the fullest. Even when there's hard times going on, I think my positive attitude makes it easier to get through sometimes.
GD: Like your song title, I really do feel that “Music Is Medicine," it really can change your attitude.
CH: For sure, 100%!
GD: There’s enough negativity in the world, it’s refreshing to hear such a positive upbeat vibe coming from an artist.
CH: Thank you so much!
GD: What’s your favorite track on your new album?
CH: That's so hard. I would say "Always" is my favorite track. My father passed away about two-and-a-half years ago and about a month after he passed away I found a birthday card for one of my birthdays a few years before that. I have my love of music because of him and we always wanted to do a song together but we didn't. When I found that card, I began singing the words that he wrote instead of reading them. I thought that was kinda cool, and I wondered if I could make it into a song. So the chorus of that song are his words and the rest of the words are mine. If you listen to the end of the song, there's a snippet of a voicemail that he left me. I feel that he would be really proud to have his words and my words come together.
GD: Absolutely, I think it's awesome. What made you think to put your dad’s voicemail at the end of that song?
CH: I don't know! I had about six voicemails in my phone that I saved. On the same day that I found that card, I chose that voicemail to listen to. I just felt that it would be a great thing to put in the song. I feel at the end (of the song) it just grabs at your heartstrings if the song didn't already.
GD: I’ve read that Cleveland’s own, Tracy Chapman was one of your influences. Who else did you listen to growing up?
CH: Oh, I love Tracy Chapman! At least five people came up to me on my last tour and said that I embody Tracy Chapman. I was like, "You have no idea how awesome that is!" She put her heart and soul into her music and I try to do the same.
I'm a big Bob Marley fan and I love the Beach Boys. My dad was a huge Beach Boys fan and I know every word to every song. I can't say that anymore because they just came out with a Beach Boys Sirius/XM channel and they are playing so many songs that I didn't know. It's super cool that they have that channel. They even have tracks where they are messing around in the studio where they are trying to get the song right. But standard things like Beach Boys, Beatles, I love Led Zeppelin and Janis Joplin. My two influences are Bob Marley and Tracy Chapman.
GD: In your title song "Stand Up" I get a little Indigo Girls vibe as well.
CH: Yeah, somebody said that to me that I reminded them of the Indigo Girls.
GD: What made you decide to pick up a guitar and do you play any other instruments?
CH: Yes, I do. I first started to play the guitar when I was a kid. I thought my dad knew how to play, but he only knew three chords! When I was eight years old, my parents bought me a guitar. After that, I learned how to play the piano. I love instruments! I learned bass, drums, the piano, mandolin, ukulele, saxophone. My step kids are playing the clarinet so I'm picking up that too. Pretty much any instrument but my favorite is the drums.
GD: Who was the first artist you saw in concert and what impact did that have on you?
CH: The first ever artist I saw was Edwin McCain when I was thirteen years old at B.B. King's in New York City. It had a huge impact on me! I knew when I was a little kid, I knew I wanted to be a singer. That's what I wanted to do. It wasn't until I was thirteen that I knew I wanted to perform. To be able to see all of the parts of the band come together in a live performance, I knew that's what 100% I wanted to do with my life. That concert impacted me in a really big way.
GD: You will be playing here in Cleveland soon, what can fans expect from your show?
CH: The one thing that I'm super excited about this tour is that all of the opening acts are local acts that have been fans of mine. I feel like it's a super cool way for me to give someone a chance because someone gave me a chance. For Cleveland, Madison Pruitt, she's eighteen now and Adam Elfers are two fans that I met out on the road. They are super cool, super talented and give really good vibes. The show is going to be a big campfire jam but inside a venue! I want everyone to have a sense of community. I want to get people involved and make it something that people remember.
GD: That sounds like a lot of fun! Thanks again for your time and we are looking forward to your show!
CH: Thank you so much, I appreciate it!
Check out Christina Holmes at the Beachland Ballroom on Monday, June 18.
Click here for tickets.