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“Montani Semper Liberi” (Mountaineers Are Always Free) AirPlayDirect.com/ScottHolstein by Kenny Lamb “Mountaineers are always free”, says the official motto for the State of West Virginia. Scott Holstein’s song, “Montani Semper Liberi”, reflects a history of conflict, pride and the individual triumphs of staying true to who you are, where you are from, and what you believe in. Scott Holstein has lived free through his music, following the paths that would lead him away from home and back again, but always toward the life he knew was for him — singing and playing the songs in his heart and telling the stories of his life. A Boone County West Virginia Native growing up in a coal mining family, Scott’s road ahead may well have been the same as many before him: working the coal mines. But Scott’s parents also played part time in a Bluegrass Gospel band, and the road forked. An opportunity was given to learn the life of a musician, entertainer, and songwriter. “They would always have instruments around.” Scott remembers. “I was given this path as an option.” As it turns out, that option became a passion, and that passion became Scott’s calling. It would have been a shame if that voice never made a record, never moved someone to feel or dance or smile from the sound that comes from his soul. It wasn’t an easy journey, or a clear direction. It was just a way to go —
something true to follow. “When I was 5 years old I attended a U.M.W.A. Labor day rally in West Virginia. Senator Robert C. Byrd was the Senator at that time and an old time fiddle player. He played on the Grand Ole Opry. I got up on stage with a hat and guitar. Trying to find my place”. As Scott entered his teens, he was starting to meet others musicians who traveled and performed across the country. It was as a guest of DJ Wallace Horn, of the famed Friendly Neighbor Show with over 40 years on the air, that Scott met Elaine Purkey, a coal industry activist singer and touring artist. This led to Scott playing a few shows with her, including National Folk Conventions and other out of state venues that became a chance to be exposed to the cultural diversity of the places and walks of life he’d never experienced before. “Folks would go play these festivals and come back to work at the coal mines. I wanted to leave with the carnival.” Scott says with a smile. High school didn’t inter-
est Scott either. Even as a gifted arts student, Scott was always looking out the window towards the Bluegrass world; towards music. And out on the road he went, on his first professional stint playing mandolin in a Bluegrass band with the Gillis Brothers. “I introduced myself as the man for the job. We played all the top Bluegrass festivals. I would go for weeks without seeing a bed.” Scott would also spend some time in Myrtle Beach, SC during the 90’s boom. “It felt like the place to be then as a tourist destination and live music scene.” Scott remembers. It was there Scott met country singer Charlie Floyd, a
the Direct Buzz January 2014 issue. Our mission is to entertain, enlighten and inform.