They met at an open-mic night downtown and hit it off right away “” and no, this is not another ring-by-spring story. Andrew Holmes, an Abilene native, and Jonathon Hester, from Brigham City, Utah, both performed that night and ended up jamming on the street together.
Fast forward a couple years and the duo are now gearing up for their first cross-country tour which starts this summer and is aptly named the Poor Man’s Tour.
“I’m selling my car so we can do it,” Holmes said. “We’re buying a cheap van, but it’s going to be good. It’s a conversion van, so there’s a bed in the back, it’s going to be real close.”
In addition to the two musicians, a photographer and their manager will join them on the road. The Poor Man’s Tour will kick off in Texas and hit Tennessee, Oregon, Los Angeles and a slew of cities in between.
Hester and Holmes both have their own material but often collaborate on each other’s work. Hester did a lot of the guitar solos on Holmes’s new album titled Lionheart.
Lionheart is Holmes’s sophomore album and could be easily described as acoustic-folk. The album is primarily made up of acoustic guitar riffs, but a few tracks feature the violin and a little more percussion.
Holmes said he gets most of his inspiration from girls.
“I’ve only had like two girlfriends in my life, and the first album was about the first girlfriend, and the second album was about the second girlfriend,” Holmes said. “It’s bad; I become really creative whenever I date people.”
Holmes’s music is simplistic yet refreshing, which is hard to do considering how many acoustic artists are prevalent today.
There’s also no doubt he can write a catchy hook. In the chorus of his new song Without the Dark, Holmes sings, “When you see the sky is dark, do you see the black or do you see the stars? Sometimes all we need to be is brighter than our scenery ’cause light wouldn’t be light without the dark.”
However, Holmes’s coffee shop love songs are definitely contrasted by Hester’s music, which is a little darker in general.
Hester is currently working on a new EP titled Wayward Soul. The album has similar vibes to Dallas Green’s earlier recordings under his solo moniker, City & Colour, but with more folk and blues influences.
Hester said writing the music comes more naturally to him than putting his thoughts into lyrics.
“Usually, I just pull from what’s happening in my life or what I’m feeling,” Hester said. “It can be a bit of a long process, because sometimes I’ll have the music to a song for so long before lyrics will come to me, or am just my own worst critic with lyrics, but eventually it works out.”
Hester said what he is most looking forward to in regards to touring is just the overall experience of playing his music across the U.S., and the memories that will come along with it.
The duo will play Saturday at Key City Block Party which will start at 4 p.m. on N. 2nd Street downtown.
Holmes’ new album is available on iTunes and his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can be found under the handle “musicbyandrewholmes.”
Poor Man’s Tour is also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram under the handle “poormanstour.”