Greg Holden, Garrison Starr

Greg Holden

Garrison Starr

Thu, June 6, 2019

8:00 pm

$12 in Advance // $15 at the Door

This event is 21 and over

Greg Holden
Greg Holden
Greg Holden is an accomplished musician with a myriad of talents, but his unending perseverance, selflessness, and sincerity stand out. 

The British-raised, Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter has garnered recognition as an independent artist for the past several years and is likely best known for writing American Idol winner Phillip Phillips’ hit debut single, “Home,” which sold over five million copies in the U.S. and earned Holden an ASCAP Pop Award. His music has also been featured on notable television shows including Sons of Anarchy, Private Practice, and One Tree Hill. In addition to receiving praise from industry staples such as Cher, Josh Groban, Sara Bareilles, Michael Bublé, Zane Lowe, TIME, NPR, BuzzFeed, and more, Holden has worked to prioritize philanthropy and establish his profile as a socially conscious artist. Standout track, “The Lost Boy,” raised over $50k for the Red Cross, and the acceptance anthem, “Boys In The Street,” directly benefited LGBTQ youth through the Everyone Is Gay organization. Tom Hanks also hailed it “The perfect song.”

Despite his impressive accolades, Holden nearly gave up on the music business in the early days of his career. After self-funding his Tony Berg-produced sophomore album, I Don’t Believe You (2011), the label due to release it folded. He then went into debt during a sold-out tour of Europe, so much so that he almost called it quits while on the road. Most artists would have thrown in the towel at this juncture, but Holden decided to persist in spite of these setbacks, leading to the well-deserved success of “Home.” From there, he self-funded his third studio album, the critically acclaimed Chase The Sun (produced by Greg Wells, 2015), later releasing the record via Warner Bros Records.

After nearly three years, Holden jumped back in the ring with his impressive new single, “On The Run,” produced by the legendary Butch Walker (Katy Perry, Panic! At The Disco, Weezer). The uplifting anthem is complete with catchy hooks that seamlessly mesh with Holden’s strong, heartfelt vocals. “ ‘On The Run’ is one of a few songs that was bouncing around in my head when it came to the question of what to lead with after several years on the dark side of the moon,” says Holden. “Ultimately, this song felt like the most authentic, whilst at the same time not being so typically subject heavy that I would scare my listeners away.”

“ ‘On The Run’ is an apology, obviously. But it’s an apology to a number of people, for a number of things,” he adds. “For years I’ve been on the road, either emotionally or physically absent, and at times, probably a nightmare for partners, friends, and family. I wanted to write something that in a way, said sorry for all that. A way to relinquish some of the guilt perhaps.”

“The Power Shift” follows “On The Run,” and the political earworm is one of Holden’s most important efforts to date where he calls out the inequality many Americans endure at the hands of those in power. It’s upbeat and catchy, yet meaningful and relevant, and an example of how the intersection of music and politics can be a tool to incite change. “I was trying to manifest a collective call on the, for lack of a better word, bullshit. I think it’s important that when someone is lying to you, you call them out,” says Holden. “I was getting tired of screaming into the social media echo chamber and really wanted to put my frustrations into a song that wasn’t so toxic. I’m under no illusion that this is just a song, but it’s better than a tweet,” he notes.

Similarly, Holden’s third effort, “Something Beautiful,” implores his listeners to cultivate positivity during negative times. Although the current climate can be disheartening, the message of the track is to always look for the silver lining. “This song was born in a brief moment of clarity, in a time when I was hellbent on writing the angriest songs I could. It feels like I’m talking to myself, actually,” he says.

Needless to say, Greg Holden is an artist to watch, with his forthcoming album expected in the coming months. Stay tuned for more news to come.
Garrison Starr
Garrison Starr
"can we get a copy of your bio for our blah, blah, blah?"

do you know how many times i've been asked this question in my career? too damn many. and every time, somebody writes a bio that nobody gives two shits about because who really cares, right? well, here's my bio as i see it now.

i started out in this business when i was about 15 in hernando, ms. i played clubs in memphis in high school, started touring in college and got signed to geffen records in 1996 at 21. since that time, i've been signed to 2 other record labels and have been touring consistently in all kinds of capacities, sometimes thriving, sometimes failing miserably and wanting to quit this business and crawl in a hole. i've been disillusioned, bitter, beat up and to hell and back in my career, but i've never lost faith in music. how it heals me all the time. and what it means to all sorts of people.

to this point, i've released 6 full-length records and several eps in between. i've toured with my idols in amphitheaters and i've played for 12 people in charlotte, nc. (i did get a standing ovation in charlotte! it's amazing how loud 12 people can be when they're really excited.)

these are really the particulars, aren't they?

i'm an artist. it's what i do. i love my job, but i hate the music business. my goal is to work as hard as i can to make the best music i can and to represent myself in the most honest and authentic light possible. if i'm doing that, i'm happy.

it's challenging to keep a foot on the machine pedal but also keep a foot grounded in the soil of inspiration and perpetual hope.

sometimes it's not possible. but you keep moving forward because that's what keeps us going. something magical. that's what i live for. what everybody lives for, i think. there's a line in "a beautiful mind" that i always remember… the wife is at the end of her rope with her husband's disease, his disillusionment, and she says "i have to believe extraordinary things are possible".


i feel grateful to have survived and maintained a career for almost 20 years in this business, and it never ceases to amaze me how many times you can reinvent yourself if you're willing.



* I am very clean
* Have lived in Memphis, Nashville and Los Angeles
* Have driven 547 cars, owned 2 of them – the first i bought with my own money was a 1990 mitsubishi eclipse
* Co-produced music for Margaret Cho's record with my pal Meghan Toohey
* Have loved touring, recording, and playing Scrabble with Mary Chapin Carpenter
* Have had music in TV shows like "Life Unexpected" and "The Hills"
* Accomplished hypochondriac with road rage
* Toured opening for Melissa Etheridge
* Steve Earle produced 2 tracks on "Songs from Takeoff to Landing," toured and sang with Steve on and off for about a year and a half
* After I watched "Super Size Me" I went straight to McDonald's. Twice.
* Recorded "Plover" with Glen Phillips (of Toad the Wet Sprocket) and Neilson Hubbard.
* Formed the band Among The Oak & Ash with Josh Joplin
* Definitely hit on Katy Perry before she got famous
* Started the North LaBrea All Star Conquistadors with Gabriel Mann, Jay Nash, and Adrianne
* Played in the band This Living Hand where I met Neilson Hubbard and Clay Jones
* Made records for Geffen, Back Porch (Virgin), and Vanguard
* Had a hit song Superhero – kinda fun when it aired in ABCs coverage of the Women's World Cup Soccer
* I own "Remember The Titans," "A Few Good Men," Jerry Maguire" and "Lady and the Tramp" on VHS.
* Played the first two years of Lilith Fair (when it was cool)
* Went to Ole Miss – for a little while anyway, though I'm not sure if that's really an accomplishment as much as a fact
* Worked at Ardent Records and got to hang out with Jody Stephens of Big Star
Venue Information:
Hotel Utah
500 4th Street
San Francisco, CA, 94107