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Whitford/St. Holmes, reunited and it's feeling so good

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2016

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It's been 35 years since Brad Whitford and Derek St. Holmes released their first album as Whitford/St. Holmes. But getting back together last year, recording the new, aptly titled "Reunion" album and hitting the road again has been like riding the proverbial bike.

"Derek and I ended up practically being neighbors in Tennessee," Aerosmith guitarist Whitford, 64, says by phone from his home so we just started doing what we do, just playing an we started writing a lot of songs and it was just very organic and a lot of fun.

"Derek and I have just a real good musical connection, so its' very easy for us to work and play together. The songs jsut came and it was like, "Well, we gotta do something with this!"

St. Holmes, who's been Ted Nugent's singer on and off since the mid-70s, adds that, "I think we just wanted to play rock 'n' roll, the stuff that we wanted to do when we played with Aerosmith and Ted Nugent. That's kind of where we started, and it kinda just started to formulate. We just started to do what we enjoy and 'Let's roll with it.'"

"Reunion," which released out June 3, came quickly for the duo. Whitford says the basic tracks were done within two days and the project largely finished within 12. "It was absolutely nobody sitting around thinking, 'Gosh, what's cool these days?' There was none of that," says St. Holmes, 63.

"The mistakes guys make coming from big bands is when they try to follow the trends, and we ourselves even made some of those mistakes the first time, just wondering about everybody else. This time we thought, 'Let's just make this thing and play it for ourselves. Let's make it the way WE want to.'"

Whitford says that after 35 years there's been "a nice evolution, I think, in the songwriting." He also found himself contributing more lyrics than before, and he didn't have to dig hard for inspiration.

"I had a lot to write about, a lot going on in my other world -- especially in Aerosmith, which was lots of frustration," Whitford says with a laugh. "So it was nice to be able to vent some of these things in the form of lyrics and get it into a song, and it was kind of therapeutic in a way."

Whitford is hardly done with Aerosmith; though the group put off plans to tour this summer while frontman Steven Tyler rolls out his first solo album, the group will tour South America this fall. And there's talk about "a farewell kind of tour" in the near future, though Whitford notes that it will likely be "based on the Kiss approach that could go on for three to five years."

St. Holmes is also always open to a call from Nugent to play with him. But both consider Whitford/St. Holmes a going concern that won't take another 35 years to put out an album.

"It's all about the music, man, none of the other (stuff)," St. Holmes says. "That's the attitude Brad's taken, that everyone in the band's taken. We're going to hit all the markets we can hit, beat the bushes just like we did when we were 25 years old.

"We're all totally sober now; We spend our money in Whole Foods, not the party store. Our any kind of extracurricular buzz is getting up there and hearing these songs come together and playing with the guys."

Whitesnake and Whitford/St. Holmes

8 p.m. Friday, June 17.

The Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit.

Tickets are $19.50-$99.50.

Call 313-471-6611 or visit olympiaentertainment.com.

Web Site: www.olympiaentertainment.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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