Hometown: Hamilton, New York
Influences: Merle Haggard, George Jones, Keith Whitley, Daryle Singletary, Brad Paisley
Blaine Holcomb, a Nashville transplant from Upstate NY, began playing music when he was 11 years old. After touring around New York state in college, he quickly moved to Nashville to pursue his music career as a recording artist. “I knew that after graduation I needed to move to Nashville and give it a shot.”
Shortly after moving to town, Blaine auditioned to play on lower Broadway, Music City’s iconic honky tonk mecca, like most aspiring country artists do. Striking a chord with Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, he started playing more and more shows at the world famous honky tonk. As a lower Broadway vet, Blaine has some helpful advice for other musicians looking to perform in Downtown Nashville.
“Broadway is a great place to work on your chops and hone your craft. It’s a great way to develop good stage presence and get comfortable fronting a band and working a crowd. I would just say make sure you know a lot of material so you can cover most requests.”
When you perform at local bars, what one song is requested the most?
“Well I guess I’d have to say Wagon Wheel. It’s not a bad song it’s just so overplayed that at this point I think all of us musicians are over it. But I really don’t like singing most pop country songs. I’m more into 90’s country.”
You’ve opened up for a lot of national acts in your career. Who was your favorite artist or band to share the stage with?
“I guess I’d have to say Justin Moore just because I’ve always been a big fan of his music. I opened for him in NY in 2013 and then I met him again one night in 2016 when he came into Tootsie’s on broadway and sang with us.”
Blaine was playing at a downtown bar when the March 3rd tornado ripped through Nashville and left devastation in its trail. He fortunately wasn’t in harms way, but his heart is with those who were affected.
“Yes, that was a scary and weird night. I was playing a late shift at The Valentine. We knew there were storm warnings but didn’t know anything about a tornado warning. The bar let us stop playing at 12:30am and we packed up to go home right as the storm hit. The strange thing was that it wasn’t that bad on broadway. Some heavy rain and some wind but nothing serious. It calmed down a bit in a couple minutes so I made a run for my truck and was able to make it safely home. While driving home I realized the power was out in a lot of Germantown and West Nashville which was eerie. I still at that time had no idea that a tornado had just torn through there. I later learned that if I would’ve left the bar about 15 minutes earlier I would’ve driven right into the tornado. It was a scary night for all of us. Fortunately I was safe and my house wasn’t damaged but a lot of people lost everything and some lost their lives.”
Since moving to Music City, Blaine was writing music for his self-titled EP Blaine Holcomb, which released at the tail end of 2019. Nine songs are included in the EP including his 2018 single “Cowboys Do”.
What song from your self titled debut album are you most proud of?
“Keep Your Line In The Water — That song is the last track on the album and I did just a stripped down acoustic version of it because that’s the way I wrote it and the way it feels most comfortable. It’s one of the first songs that I wrote after I moved to Nashville. It’s a song about my grandfather. He used to take me fishing when I was growing up. He’s the one who taught me how to bass fish and we were very close. He passed away when I was a freshman in high school so that song means a lot to me. It’s my song for him.”
What does the rest of the year look like for you?
“I have two new songs that I recently wrote and recorded that I’m looking forward to releasing this year. I’m also working on some other new material. I was looking into shooting a music video for one of the songs and starting to get the ball rolling on releasing it when the coronavirus basically shut the world down. So now I’m just waiting to see how everything plays out. Hopefully life will get back to normal soon and I’ll be able to get some new music out.”