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Wade Holmes of Wood & Steel

Flatbed concerts, long-distance relationships, and Huey Lewis

Wade Holmes is the lead guitarist for Wood & Steel. He’s also a great songwriter, and takes inspiration from his wife, Wood & Steel’s lead singer, Eric Franklin-Holmes. Here, he talks about his first band performance, some other Savannah artists he admires, his secret musical indulgences, and much more.

Favorite performances by other Savannah Artists …

Les Racquet back in their heyday were, by far, our favorites. We really enjoy watching the band Squash now. Also, Royal Noise and Domino Effect from back in the Live Wire days. All great people too.

It’s written from the perspective of a man on his death bed who is saved when a beautiful Southern woman sings to him.

How did your band get its name?

Wood and Steel was meant just for our acoustic duo, but it stuck around when we decided to start a full band. Now it’s been around for so long that Erica won’t let me change it.

If you could play anywhere in Savannah, any location, no matter how crazy, where would it be, and why?

The Lucas Theater, Trustees Theater, and the Ships of the Sea stage would all be a dream.

He’s a ghost in their house, but can’t communicate with her.

Describe your first performance …

The first full band performance that I can recall was in high school. My friend, Adam Warner, had a party at his house and his parents rented a flatbed trailer for us to play on. We invited pretty much everyone we knew, plugged in, and played for them. We only knew five songs or so… I’m pretty sure we played them all twice. Adam is now a rising country star in Nashville. The TN Titans run out on to the field to one of his songs called “Welcome to the South.”

What’s your favorite key to play in?

A minor. It’s easiest for Erica and I both to sing over.

Do you have a personal favorite song that you’ve written?

I have a couple of favorites. “Sweet Southern Siren,” we just started playing with the band. I wrote that one for Erica after I met her over ten years ago. It’s written from the perspective of a man on his death bed who is saved when a beautiful Southern woman sings to him. And “Empty Room” because I love the emotion and imagery. It’s pretty slow and sad though, so I don’t play it much. Only acoustic. It’s about a husband who dies and widows his wife. He’s a ghost in their house, but can’t communicate with her.

Greener, by Eric Britt, is incredible and has always been one of our favorites

Craziest performance you ever had …

Usually any time we play at Huc-A-Poo’s is pretty crazy, but in a good way! People are in beach mode and like to dance, and someone always drunkenly falls into our equipment. Never fails.

What are some of your favorite albums by other local artists?

Greener, by Eric Britt, is incredible and has always been one of our favorites, and Whale Hail by Les Racquet, of course.

I honestly think Coldplay’s first three albums are fantastic … Not so much after that.

If you’re not originally from Savannah, how did you come to settle here?

Erica and I were in a long-distance relationship. I was living in California at the time and she was in Alabama. We were looking for interesting places to live in the Southeast and play music. We came to Savannah, loved it, and she was offered a great job here, so that made up our minds.

Do you have a secret music indulgence?

Oh boy, several. I honestly think Coldplay’s first three albums are fantastic … Not so much after that. Erica and I absolutely love Hall and Oates and Huey Lewis … Tenacious D, of course. Probably the biggest indulgence we have is Widespread Panic. We are both huge fans, but I think most of our friends know that. We met in New Orleans at one of their shows in 2008. I have personally been seeing seen them live for almost twenty years which is around a hundred and twenty shows in three different countries.

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