VISITING ACT ‌ No Rest for the Restless 

Outformation spread the word, one stop at a time

click to enlarge Atlanta's Outformation — led by guitarist Sam Holt — headline two shows this weekend at the Pour House
  • Atlanta's Outformation — led by guitarist Sam Holt — headline two shows this weekend at the Pour House

Outformation
Sat. May 26 / Sun. May 27
9 p.m.
$10
Pour House
1977 Maybank Hwy.
571-4343
www.charlestonpourhouse.com
www.foryouroutformation.com

Diligent Spreadheads will most likely recognize Atlanta-based Outformation frontman Sam Holt from his years of stage time with Widespread Panic. Holt was the band's trusted guitar tech for almost a decade.

"My roommate, Chris Rabold, became Widespread's production manager, and on his first tour in that role, their longtime guitar tech decided to not be on the road anymore," says Holt. "Chris called me and I was on a plane the next day. I was on the road with Panic for seven years. Last New Year's was my last gig. The real catalyst to start Outformation was Michael Houser. He told me many times that he wanted me to go play my own music. When he passed away, it really drove me to start writing and performing. At first, it was mainly part-time. We started to play more and more, and things started to fall in place."

Outformation released their debut album Tennessee Before Daylight in 2005 and plan to have a follow-up done by this fall. Holt says the band's already nearly finished with a new album, tentatively titled Traveler's Rest, due in September.

"[Panic keyboardist] JoJo Hermann produced our first record. Then it got to the point where as soon as the Widespread tour was done, Outformation's would start. Last year, I was gone 300 days between the two. I left after last year because I felt my work with Panic was done. I had done everything I could do for them."

In 2005, reflecting on advice given to him by Widespread's Michael Houser before the guitarist's passing, Holt decided to make a break from the pack. He left to concentrate on beefing up the band he'd originally formed with childhood friend Grady Upchurch while already on the road several hundred dates a year with the Panic crew.

"It's changed a lot," says Holt. "I have a hard time listening to stuff from a couple years ago, because we have become much better musicians, better listeners, better singers, and much better at doing what's best for the song. We were a three-piece then. Now we're a five-piece. The keyboards and percussion bring other layers and textures that make the music more interesting."

Outformation's sound is built on a meat-and-potatoes foundation of twangy Southern rock and blues fittings. Holt and bassist Upchurch, drummer Lee Schwartz, keyboardist C.R. Gruver and percussionist Jeff Lane draw from classic rockers like the Marshall Tucker Band, Little Feat, and the Allman Brothers, but treading stagnant swamp water they ain't. Rather, the band — propelled by Holt's meaty guitar riffs and Gruver's nimble keyboards — are more of a natural successor to those groups' melting pot approach to American rock 'n' roll.

No Rest for the Restless

Outformation spread the word, one stop at a time

By Michael Andrews

Outformation

Sat. May 26 / Sun. May 27

9 p.m.

$10

Pour House

1977 Maybank Hwy.

571-4343

www.charlestonpourhouse.com

www.foryouroutformation.com

Diligent Spreadheads will most likely recognize Atlanta-based Outformation frontman Sam Holt from his years of stage time with Widespread Panic. Holt was the band's trusted guitar tech for almost a decade.

"My roommate, Chris Rabold, became Widespread's production manager, and on his first tour in that role, their longtime guitar tech decided to not be on the road anymore," says Holt. "Chris called me and I was on a plane the next day. I was on the road with Panic for seven years. Last New Year's was my last gig. The real catalyst to start Outformation was Michael Houser. He told me many times that he wanted me to go play my own music. When he passed away, it really drove me to start writing and performing. At first, it was mainly part-time. We started to play more and more, and things started to fall in place."

Outformation released their debut album Tennessee Before Daylight in 2005 and plan to have a follow-up done by this fall. Holt says the band's already nearly finished with a new album, tentatively titled Traveler's Rest, due in September.

"[Panic keyboardist] JoJo Hermann produced our first record. Then it got to the point where as soon as the Widespread tour was done, Outformation's would start. Last year, I was gone 300 days between the two. I left after last year because I felt my work with Panic was done. I had done everything I could do for them."

In 2005, reflecting on advice given to him by Widespread's Michael Houser before the guitarist's passing, Holt decided to make a break from the pack. He left to concentrate on beefing up the band he'd originally formed with childhood friend Grady Upchurch while already on the road several hundred dates a year with the Panic crew.

"It's changed a lot," says Holt. "I have a hard time listening to stuff from a couple years ago, because we have become much better musicians, better listeners, better singers, and much better at doing what's best for the song. We were a three-piece then. Now we're a five-piece. The keyboards and percussion bring other layers and textures that make the music more interesting."

Outformation's sound is built on a meat-and-potatoes foundation of twangy Southern rock and blues fittings. Holt and bassist Upchurch, drummer Lee Schwartz, keyboardist C.R. Gruver and percussionist Jeff Lane draw from classic rockers like the Marshall Tucker Band, Little Feat, and the Allman Brothers, but treading stagnant swamp water they ain't. Rather, the band — propelled by Holt's meaty guitar riffs and Gruver's nimble keyboards — are more of a natural successor to those groups' melting pot approach to American rock 'n' roll.


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