Multi-instrumentalist, Brandon Holder, performs with a variety of bands in the Boone area, and he teaches lessons privately and in the Boone Junior Appalachian Musicians program. A trained bass player, he is also adept on other stringed instruments, including guitar and banjo.
Brandon grew up in Huntsville, Alabama, with music as a regular fixture in his family. His mother played piano and sang in a local church choir, and his father played several instruments, mainly Dobro, and gigged with local bands. His parents encouraged Brandon to play music as well, enrolling him in piano, guitar, and bass lessons. There was a lot of music played around the house, and his dad took him to concerts, fiddlers conventions, and festivals to experience live music. Though Brandon had begun performing bluegrass music at an early age with his dad and uncles, his true passion began in middle school with exposure to rock music and the electric guitar.
At the end of high school, Brandon got a banjo and took an interest in old-time clawhammer style. He discovered the fiddle-banjo duets of Tommy Jarrell and Fred Cockerham and found some instructional videos on YouTube. Soon, Brandon started taking fiddle lessons with a local old-time player, Bob White, who encouraged Brandon to listen to source recordings and attend fiddlers conventions, such as the Mount Airy Fiddlers Convention. By this time, Brandon had just graduated college in Alabama, and he decided to move to North Carolina to continue focusing on old-time music.
Brandon moved to Boone in 2010, and he soon started playing music with many in the local old-time music scene, including Cecil Gurganus, Trevor McKenzie, and Adam Jarrell. He was focusing on learning more fiddle and banjo tunes and styles, traveling to all the regional fiddlers conventions, and frequenting old-time and bluegrass jam sessions. Brandon started performing with Gurganus and the Laurel Creek String Band, McKenzie in various configurations, and substituting on bass with various other groups. He started teaching in the Boone JAM program in 2011, and he has taught a variety of instruments in the program, including guitar, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, and fiddle.
Brandon is available for performances with various groups and private lesson instruction on a limited basis.