Former metalhead queen Susan Holden has surely secured a name for herself in the Sea to Sky corridor.
After her very first public performance (aside from belting out Dolly Parton's 9 to 5 to her plush teddy bears and her sister's Cabbage Patch Kids as a child) for a Tuned Women 2 Whistler event in 2003, she caught the stage bug and now rarely passes up an opportunity to step into the spotlight.
When Holden is asked what her favorite instrument is, her answer comes quickly, as guitar is the one that she knows how to play (other than her voice, of course). She also adds that her least favorite instrument is the tambourine, "especially when played loudly in (my) ear." Holden also has no conventional musical training under her belt, which goes to show that her talent is purely natural and self-taught. After taking part in the Tuned Women 2 show, she developed the confidence to continue sharing her passion with others.
Lately, Holden has been working closely with singer, writer, and producer, Jeannette Dupuis, who has graced Holden with production collaboration, inspiration and friendship. Holden states that, "Jeannette writes catchy, well-crafted songs and has given me license to perform and record her material." She is always sure to give Dupuis verbal and written credit for her work, as audience members frequently congratulate Holden on writing songs that were actually written by Dupuis. You can hear Holden sing Dupuis's song Black and White Movies on Holden's MySpace page at www.myspace.com/susanholdenmusic .
Holden continues to write, record, and collaborate, all the while searching for a Neil Young-style guitarist to play music with her. She's looking to eventually do a Neil Young tribute with a couple other musicians that she's hoping to find through local open mic nights or word of mouth.
After singing for 13 years and playing guitar for 10 (as long as she's lived in Whistler) Holden describes singing as "feed(ing) the part of me that is very emotional..." She quite often suppresses a tear mid-song.
She feels that her voice is constantly becoming stronger and more versatile, and continues to work on her vocal abilities each time she practices and performs.
Since living in Whistler, she has played at numerous events and fundraisers around town including WAG charity drives, the Whistler Farmer's Market and the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival. She most recently performed at the annual Bratz Biz craft fair at Whistler Secondary School and has been booked to perform regularly at Gone Bakery throughout the winter season.
Her goal was never for her songs to make Top of the Pops charts, but to perform for the public as long as it makes both her and her audiences smile. This woman has an amazing sense of humor and a memorizing stage presence that lights up a room, a heart, and a stage.
Keep an eye on Pique's music listings for Holden's upcoming shows.
Kaeshammer plays next week
Next week's performance by Michael Kaeshammer will be the last chance to check out the Whistler Arts Council's Performance Series before it takes a break for the Olympics.
So far this year, WAC has presented an evening of comedy with Lorne Elliott, The International Guitar Night, and most recently, an evening of taiko drumming with the Vancouver-based troupe, Uzume Taiko.
Kaeshammer will fill MY Millennium Place with his original jazz and pop fusion on Thursday, Dec. 17. Kaeshammer's warm on-stage style has already endeared him to his Canadian audiences, and his off-the-cuff improvisational style mixed with elaborate arrangements has recently helped him branch out into the U.S. and Europe. His better-known songs include On a Saturday Night from the album No Strings Attached , Comes Love from Strut , and Cinnamon Sun from Days Like These . To find out more about Kaeshammer, or check out some of his music, visit www.kaeshammer.com .
The show starts at 8 p.m., and tickets are $22 for adults and $19 for students and seniors, available through MY Place and www.ticketmaster.ca.