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Outformation, for your information

Charlie Owen
Vail, CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily/Alice-Foto
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Guitarist Sam Holt gradually became a rock star. From practicing at a young age to becoming a guitar-tech for Widespread Panic, Holt finally formed his own band called Outformation in his 30s. Outformation draws on the many different musical influences of each member of the band, which ranges from country music to straight up rock ‘n’ roll. Before Outformation embarked on their Colorado tour, Holt answered some questions from his home in Georgia about his musical roots and playing with Panic.

Sam Holt: I don’t know if there’s any specific thing, I mean it was just more of an attitude, the work ethic, a lot of just looking at it as a way of life, you know, it’s bigger than you are and that’s kind of the attitude we’ve adopted.

SH: I’ve always just played in … bands around high school and college and stuff and then I started working for Widespread Panic in like ’99. Just being around (the members of Panic) a lot and then I became pretty good friends with Mike, who was the guitar player, Mike Houser, and he would be hearing me play … and would be like, ‘Man you should go play in a band, you should go do this, you’re too good to be working for us.’

Me and a couple other guys in Outformation began to play and then (Houser) passed away and it was just like, ‘Man, life’s too short, let’s do this. Let’s make a band and just see what can happen.’

SH: When I would step in and play with them it was, just like, great because they were cool with it and they were like all excited ’cause they knew that I was very familiar with the material and that I was going to do my thing. So it was cool, very liberating, (it) built a lot of confidence in me.

SH: I would say the more recent one (“Traveler’s Rest”) because we’ve evolved more as musicians.

SH: We have material. I mean we have new songs that are not on an album yet that we’ve been playing for a few months. We’ll probably record later this year. We’ve also got a DVD that’s going to come out probably in April or May that we recorded last fall, so that will be something new.

SH: Man, I remember, I was probably like 11 or 12 and saw “The Song Remains the Same” on Christmas day and it just blew me away, Jimmy Page. I was like ‘holy crap, what is that guy doing?’ you know. That really inspired me to want to get a guitar and then I took a couple of lessons and then was just trying to figure out Led Zeppelin songs and that grew from there.

SH: Man, I was probably 28.

SH: I would say that we have more of a country influence, and I’m talking like Charlie Daniels Band, Marshall Tucker Band, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings. I think you’ll hear a lot more of that kind of influence in our music than you would in a lot of other bands that are in the jam band scene.

High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 748-2939 or cowen@vaildaily.com.


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