Songwriters Tom Begich and Terry Holder have toured through Alaska and down the West Coast since meeting a few years ago at Side Street Espresso in Anchorage.
Their music differs. Begich favors finger-picked blues and acoustic introspection. Holder's songs are inspired by Jackson Browne and Patti Griffin. Still, they're often told that their styles complement each other.
Begich and Holder will stop at The Back Room at the Silverbow Inn at 7 p.m. Friday. It's the first trip to Southeast Alaska for Holder, a 20-year Alaska resident. Begich last played here in 2002 and has appeared at the Alaska Folk Festival many times.
Juneau native Patrice Helmar will open. Tickets are $10 at the door.
Begich, son of former U.S. Congressman Nick Begich and older brother of Anchorage mayor Mark Begich, was involved in the Anchorage scene in the early 1980s. He turned to politics for a little more than a decade, until one day he was hanging out with George Gee, owner of Side Street Espresso in Anchorage.
"I played a song for him called 'Mexico,' which I had played at the Juneau folk festival in the mid-1980s," Begich said. "A customer dropped a $5 bill in my guitar case, and that was the beginning."
Tom Begich and Terry Holder
When: 7 p.m. Friday.
Where: The Back Room at the Silverbow Inn.
Tickets: $10 at the door.
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Begich played at Side Street during his lunch breaks and soon rediscovered his joy for songwriting. Now, music represents about a third of his income. His other job is in juvenile justice and community development.
Begich released "Such a World" in 1997, "Hotel Metropol" in 1999, "Albu-querque Road" in 2001 and "Cool Blue Light" in November 2004. The new album was a three-year project that sat on the shelf in 2002, while Begich acted as trustee for a friend's estate. He eventually re-cut the vocals and finished in August 2004.
"'Albuquerque Road' was more of a road album, songs to drive down highways to, and 'Cool Blue Light,' in a universal way, really tries to explore some of the tough decisions that we have to make in life," Begich said. "We all think back at missed opportunities. It's sort of getting into the idea of how we see things, and how we respond to them."
Holder played guitar in her late teens, but didn't write a note until the youngest of her three daughters moved out of the state.
"My mother passed away, and my kids had all left the state, and I was just really in a dark place," Holder said. "I woke up one day and started writing music and called my husband on the phone and said, 'Oh my god, I think I can write music.'"
She decided to record, so she could give the songs to her kids. "am i here, is this me" came out in 2001. "Colored Rooms" was released in May 2004. Her youngest daughter, Erin, sings harmony on both records, and she and her husand co-produced
"I never planned on going out and playing in public, but halfway through recording the first record, my husband told me that maybe I should go do some open mikes," Holder said. "So it's really taken on a life of its own, and it's been great. I've learned a lot, and I just write what I feel."
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