The Observer. (La Grande, Or.) 1968-current, September 01, 2022, Thursday Edition, Page 17, Image 17

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AUG. 31�SEPT. 7
Mark Holt plays Wallowa Lake Lodge
By Lisa Britton
Go! Magazine
WALLOWA LAKE — Mark Holt has
toured his music ever since 1975, when
he played at fairs as a 12-year-old.
“That’s how I started performing on
stage,” he said.
Holt grew up in the lower Yakima Valley
in Washington. He took music lessons
from JuDale music store, which set
up a stage at the state fair for a staff
band to play.
Then the store started a junior staff
“They recruited me for that,” Holt said.
He got the chance to play four sets
each day on the best equipment.
“We got to play through brand-new
amps and whatever guitar we wanted to
grab,” he said.
And that set him on a career path of
playing music.
“I’ve gone all over the world playing
music,” he said. “I’ve taken some
crazy gigs.”
But this weekend he won’t travel quite
as far from his home in Lewiston, Idaho —
Holt will play live Saturday, Sept. 3,
at Wallowa Lake Lodge. The music
starts at 5 p.m.
missed a live audience.
“Playing in your living room for yourself
just isn’t the same,” he said.
Now his schedule is fi lling up again. For
his Sept. 3 show, the audience can expect
to hear “bluesy Americana country.” He
plays originals, as well as covering songs
by John Denver, Merle Haggard, Frank
Sinatra and Tony Bennett.
“But I put my own spin on everything,”
he said.
Sara Gettys/Contributed Photo
Mark Holt will perform Saturday, Sept. 3, at Wallowa Lake Lodge.
Holt grew up listening to classic coun-
try, as well as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis
Jr. and Engelbert Humperdinck.
“We had a lot of music in the house,”
he said.
He started playing guitar at age 10.
Over the years, he’s played with a
fi ve-piece bluegrass band, as a duo with
his sister, and now mostly travels as
a solo act.
He said the loss of shows in 2020 and
2021 was “hard, mentally hard.”
“I didn’t realize how much it was part
of what I do — going out and playing live
music,” he said.
He kept picking up the guitar, but
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