Sutton, Holt and Coleman
Sutton, Holt and Coleman
There is a deep river of traditional music running through North Carolina. Grammy Award winners David Holt, Bryan Sutton, and T. Michael Coleman explore the richness of that musical culture. Each has been inspired by and performed with Doc Watson over the years and honor his musical genius. “Doc has been a primary influence on all three of us and we want to follow his lead in performing a wide range of traditionally-based songs and tunes that really reach out and grab a crowd.”
Four-time Grammy Award winner David Holt accompanied Doc Watson on tour for the last 14 years of Doc’s life. In 2002 their Legacy CD won a Grammy for Best Folk Recording. David has spent the last 35 years collecting and performing traditional music from southern mountaineers including Roy Acuff and 122-year-old Susie Brunson.
Bryan Sutton has been called the finest acoustic guitarist in America. He is five-time winner of the IBMA Guitarist of the Year Award and in 2007 won a Grammy award with Doc Watson for Best Instrumental.
Bassist T. Michael Coleman played with Doc and Merle Watson for seventeen years as well as with the Seldom Scene and Chesapeake. He toured with Doc and David. T. Michael is also an award winning videographer and film maker.
Individually and collectively Sutton, Holt and Coleman brings new creativity to an ageless tradition.
Listen to a sneak preview:
Sutton, Holt and Coleman are three friends who have a great love of traditional mountain music and particularly the music of Doc Watson. Appropriately at Merlefest 2011 David Holt, Bryan Sutton and T. Michael Coleman played a public concert for the first time together. “It was a good fit,” said guitarist Bryan Sutton, “We all cut our teeth on the same music.” Over the years, all three artists have won Grammys with the legendary Doc Watson. Coleman played bass with Doc in the 1970s and 80s and David Holt played with Doc as a duo from 1998 until Doc’ death. There was lots of musical common ground.
David first worked with T. Michael Coleman in 1984 when he appeared with Doc Watson on David’s TNN series “Fire On the Mountain.” Says Holt, “Doc, Merle, T. Michael and I had a very similar since of driving rhythm. We had fun the first time we played together. A few years ago Doc and I decided to invite Coleman to play with them on their live shows and have been playing together ever since.
David met Bryan Sutton when Bryan was a young man growing up Western North Carolina. “Bryan’s father, Jerry, is a fine musician himself and introduced me to Bryan. At very young age he was a phenomenal guitarist,” said Holt. ” I featured Bryan in one of my FOLKWAYS TV shows on the guitar when he was in his 20s. By the time Bryan moved to Nashville to do studio work he was the best guitarist in North Carolina. Now I think you could safely say his one of the best acoustic guitarists in the world.”
Holt, Sutton and Coleman want to keep Doc’s music moving forward. “Doc had the ability to make old songs sound new and exciting,” says Coleman, “We plan to use what we have learned from Doc to do the same thing with modern audiences.”
With a variety of instruments, three part harmonies and a mixture of traditional and newly written songs, Sutton, Holt and Coleman incorporate the old and the new to create a sound all their own.