Local band Hollywood Farmers showcased at CO Music Convergence
The Hollywood Farmers are a Breckenridge band showcasing at the Colorado Music Convergence three-day event. Brought to the town by Breckenridge Creative Arts, SpokesBUZZ and Mishawaka Amphitheatre, the event will provide networking opportunities for independent artists, bands and other music industry professionals from around the state. Hollywood Farmers are one of the 15 bands on the docket to play in the music showcase, which is free and open to the public. Oriole Holloway, the upright bass player, took some time to answer a few questions before the event.
Summit Daily News: Describe your music to someone who has never seen it.
Oriole Holloway: Describing our music to someone who hasn’t experienced it is just as difficult for us as it would be for anyone who had. Hollywood Farmers is a veritable kitchen sink of music, incorporating elements from music all over the world and drawing inspiration from the extreme duality of the human experience. Bouncing around from country-fried rock ballads to spicy Latin shakedowns, no two songs in our repertoire have much similarity. What started out as an experiment in gypsy jazz a la Django Reinhardt, is now a whiskey-drinking, boot-stomping take on every style of music within the last two centuries.
SDN: How did the band get started and what is your biggest accomplishment so far?
OH: Steve and I met several years ago in Bellingham, Washington, where we quickly realized our potential working together musically. My ex-wife had started cheating on me and Steve was starting to have issues of his own within his long-term relationship. We penned a bunch of songs, and with the help of a great mentor Carl Kirkendall, spent three forlorn days in a barn by Mount Baker recording heart-wrenching track after heart-wrenching track. According to “Kirk,” we took turns going between the recording booth and face-down on the couch.
After the recordings were done, we sentenced ourselves to four months hard labor at a good friend’s commercial cannabis farm. We packed our dogs and instruments into our 1974 Dodge Sportsman, which we named Rumblina, and never looked back.
After roving around and playing our music from the corners of Haight and Ashbury to 6th Street in Austin, we wound up in Breckenridge somewhat unexpectedly. Though we’ve been around a bit since we came here, we still love to call Breckenridge our base.
As far as major accomplishments — I would say that it would have to be our metamorphosis, our journey. The fact that HF began in the worst times in our lives, and that we are still together making poignant and compelling music that people love. To quote Brer Rabbit, “(we) were born and bred in a briar patch.”
SDN: What is the craziest thing that has happened to you on the road or playing a show?
OH: I was tased, pepper sprayed, and beaten up by cops during the Occupy Oakland protests. I wasn’t participating. I actually understand my own political agenda.
I had gotten separated from my bandmates and found myself in the middle of some sort of poorly executed demonstration. No one knew what happened to me until I hitchhiked back to the Motel 6 from jail the next morning.
SDN: What do you hope to gain from attending the Colorado Music Convergence?
OH: We have been incubating and honing our art for the last couple of years here in Summit County. In short, we are ready to take this to the next level. We have been working on a large pool of new material to follow up our 2014 sessions, for a major release. Through CMC, we hope to attract people who are interested in helping us put together this album and tour to promote it, particularly in U.S. and European festivals. We are fortunate to have amazing people in our corner like Saam Golgoon, who is a great patron of the arts here in Summit County, and can’t wait to see what this festival yields for us.
SDN: Why is this event important for locals musicians?
OH: CMC is going to drop a giant pile of original Colorado music right in the heart of Breckenridge. When I was a young aspiring musician in Atlanta, I derived a great deal of inspiration from touring bands, kids that weren’t much older than me or too far outside of my playing abilities or demographic, that were out there making it happen and putting it all on the line. It wasn’t the big bands playing in arenas that inspired me to start a band and go on the road, it was these young warriors that were burning with passion and making it seem like an attainable goal to the right dedicated and invested soul.
It is my sincere hope that CMC builds fires within all sorts of aspiring local musicians to start unique bands with original music. Breckenridge has the real potential to be a Rocky Mountain Harlem, and Hollywood Farmers want to be the weirdos leading the way.
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