Blues group Shawn Holt and The Teardrops to visit Ames


Courtesy of SUB

His late father, Magic Slim, uncle and brother have been playing for years, so you could say the blues is in Shawn Holt’s blood.

Tanner Owens

Blues band Shawn Holt and The Teardrops will stop by Iowa State’s Maintenance Shop on Thursday.

The stop will mark Shawn Holt’s first time performing at Iowa State. The blues group banded together in 2013 after the death of their previous lead singer, blues icon Morris Holt, more popularly known as Magic Slim. Originally known as simply The Teardrops, Morris Holt’s son, Shawn Holt, took control of the band following his father’s death.

The band had been performing with Magic Slim for the better part of 35 years until he became ill in 2013. A then 17-year-old Shawn Holt would then assume the role as the band’s frontman. The elder Holt entrusted the band’s future to his only son.

“The high energy, hard-driving sound of The Teardrops is still alive and well and if you like what Magic Slim and The Teardrops have been doing for the last 35 years, you can continue to enjoy that unique sound and energy with Shawn Holt, a chip off the old block, fronting his dad’s band,” according to the band’s website.

Shawn Holt comes from a very musically gifted family. Not only did he and his father play, but also his uncle, Nick Holt. Shawn Holt picked up the blues when he turned 17 years old. The singer eventually began touring with his uncle and his father to gigs across the United States. Even more impressive, Holt says it all came naturally.

“I do love all kinds of music and of course, I listened to rap and hip-hop as a youngster, but I really fell in love with the blues after I started playing guitar,” Holt said in a Blues Blast Magazine interview. “I’ve never taken a lesson and I can’t read music, but I can play [the blues]. It’s like it was in me and it just needed to come out.”

The singer’s band has since released one album, titled “Daddy Told Me,” under the label Blind Pig Records. The album won two awards, Best New-Artist Award through the Blues Foundation in 2014, as well as the Blues Blast Music Award for New Artist Debut Album in the same year.

Shawn Holt and The Teardrops will perform at 8 p.m. Thursday in the Maintenance Shop. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the event are $12 for the public and $8 with a student ID. Tickets are available through online or through the Maintenance Shop’s box office and over the phone.