Story and photographs by Wanda Callagy
Along with Santa Claus, the Arthur Holmes Blues Band is coming town. They will play at Pauly’s Hotel in Albany on Saturday (December 15).
The band – which originates from the Pittsfield area and the Berkshires – includes Arthur Holmes on vocals and lead guitar, John Worth on bass, Gary Smith on Hammond organ and Bridget Wnukowski on drums. Inspired by blues artists such as Elmore James, Buddy Guy, Howlin’ Wolf and B.B. King among others, the band plays many originals along with covers.
Holmes writes most of music, crediting who he calls the “original gunslingers” as the foundation of most music today. “They wrote about their experiences, about their hard-luck places and their life. It’s music written from the soul,” says Holmes. “Much of the music I have written comes from a dark time in my life, and how far I have come from that point.”
Holmes is modest about his guitar playing, which started at an early age, as he listened for hours and played along with records of musicians he admired. He and Worth have played together for years, and their energetic sound is complimented by Smith’s soaring keys and Wnukowski’s powerhouse backbeat.