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Leigh Holmes: A Musical Journey from Gift to Community

Blue Bug Photography, courtesy of Leigh Holmes

Lacy McKay, KSJD News: I’m Lacy McKay, this is Morning Edition on KSJD. Thanks for joining us. Today, we're diving into the life of Leigh Holmes, a musician whose journey underscores the transformative power of passion and perseverance. He’ll be playing at the ZU Gallery here in Cortez tonight at 6pm.

Leigh Holmes: "My father called me up one day... And he says, 'Hey, would you like a guitar?' And I immediately said, 'Yes.'"

Lacy McKay: That unexpected birthday gift led Holmes to an intense commitment to music, dedicating eight hours a day to mastering the guitar, a discipline that soon extended to other instruments and vocals.

Leigh Holmes: "I actually played eight hours a day... And, you know, practice makes perfect... So now, I not only play guitar, but I play bass, drums... Drums is like my secondary instrument, I feel confident enough to play live playing drums."

Lacy McKay: Holmes's musical evolution is deeply personal, each instrument offering a new layer of expression, culminating in the vulnerable act of singing his own songs.

Leigh Holmes: "Especially when they're your own songs, to be honest... it does feel vulnerable."

Lacy McKay: His narrative takes a serendipitous turn with a love story that crosses continents, from Malta to Colorado, where the COVID-19 lockdown turned a cross-country honeymoon roadtrip into a new home.

Leigh Holmes: "My wife and I... decided to stay, and you know, it's been four years now and don't look back."

Lacy McKay: In Colorado, Holmes found not just a place to call home but a community to contribute to, intertwining his life with music and real estate, always mindful of preserving the small-town charm that welcomed him.

Leigh Holmes: "It's a beautiful place. And there's a lot of great people, you know,...we want to keep that small town charm, and keep the close knit community."

Lacy McKay: Holmes is now preparing for a live performance that promises to be a unique experience, showcasing his journey not just through song but through the creative process itself.

Leigh Holmes: "It's going to be layered, there's gonna be different levels to it... inviting people into my studio, or where I play music at home."

Lacy McKay: Leigh Holmes' story is a symphony of life's unexpected melodies, from a gift guitar to a global romance and a community found far from where he started. His music, a testament to the paths we travel and the homes we build along the way.

For Morning Edition, I’m Lacy McKay thank you for joining us, and thanks to Leigh for sharing his story and music. Find our interview over at KSJD dot ORG. You can see Leigh’s performance this evening at the ZU Gallery in Cortez, starting at 6pm. No reservations required. Playing us out, here’s Leigh with his original “What a Privilege”

LP recently moved to Mancos from Austin, Texas, where they worked as a Case Manager for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and in HOA property management where they were fortunate to learn many different styles of communication and creative thinking/problem solving. In their time away from work, they watch a ton of movies (spanning all decades, nationalities, and genres), and tries to listen to one really good album every day. They are also the "cool aunt" to two really cool fellow redheads, and the owner of Max and Charlie, her dachshunds.