Although Holder was raised on outlaw country in Wichita Falls, Texas, she is influenced by a broad swathe of styles including country, jazz, blues, folk and indie. “I use slashes a lot,” Holder notes. “Folk/country/blues/Americana/jazz. I don’t think I have to be any one thing.” She began writing, singing and playing guitar in junior high, and fell in love with songwriters early on- “Janis Joplin and the women of Lilith Fair had a big impact on me growing up”. Over time, Holder discovered Texas songwriters such as Susan Gibson and Walt Wilkins, along with Wilco, Lucinda Williams, Ryan Adams and Tom Waits. In college, she absorbed Patty Griffin, Gillian Welch, Jenny Lewis and Neko Case. After completing her undergraduate degree in art education at the University of Texas at Arlington, Holder relocated to Austin in search of a larger audience. Once settled, Holder fronted two bands: the folk-leaning Ali Holder & the Broken Hearted, and R&B band Ali Holder & the Raindoggs.In recent times, Holder has expanded her musical palate to include artists such as Brandi Carlile, Susan Tedeschi,  Possessed by Paul James and Lera Lynn. These influences can occasionally be heard in the songs, but it’s her own sound — a sure voice that leans toward alto but effortlessly reaches far higher, coupled with well-targeted musical sensibilities and intelligent lyrics — that draws the listener in. Whether her inspirations come from haunting historic sites, communing with cattle or reading Stephen King, Ali Holder clearly has creative blood coursing through her veins. Let her spill some into your ears.

BOB SIMPSON

Bob Simpson is a Texas-based singer-songwriter with a folk style and sound of the Americana kind. A songwriters songwriter, his carefully crafted guitar melodies and clever lyrics take you back to a time when musicians truly cared about the content and craftsmanship of their art. It’s easy to begrudge someone when they are compared to more notable artists (most often James Taylor and Lyle Lovett) in their field. But Bob truly deserves these comparisons. He pays tribute to those that came before him while still maintaining a sound and story all his own. A self-taught guitar player, Simpson began writing songs as a teenager; a hobby that would last him a lifetime. After recording several demos that would introduce his body of work to various audiences, he began to record and release his self-titled debut in 2008 followed by his alt-country tinged 2013 sophomore release, Odd Man Out. His songs have been featured in several independent films and performed in some of the more well-known venues across the state of Texas. Simpson is currently recording his third album entitled, The Emperor’s New Moon, slated to be released 2018.

©Leah Muse Photography

NICOLETTE GOOD

Nicolette Good is a Texas singer/songwriter and a 2012 winner of the Grassy Hill Kerrville New Folk competition. She is perhaps most known for sweet melodies, heartfelt vocals, and contemporary twists on Americana character sketches. Her first full-length album, Monarch (2012), earned her a spot on the docu-reality TV show Troubadour, TX. Her sophomore album, Little Boat on a Wave (2015), includes songs crafted during an artist residency program called The Lighthouse Works in Fishers Island, New York.  Critics have called her “a songwriter to follow” and “a poet of the first order,” making her feel right at home performing in listening rooms and intimate venues.