Roy Holdren was born and raised in a musical family in Kansas, where his grandpa played the fiddle and his mother played guitar. Music was a constant in his life, and he learned to beat the drums with butter knives on mayonnaise jars. It was no surprise that he formed his first band with his brother in seventh grade, and he has been playing music ever since, whether it be on drums, bass, or guitar.
After high school in South Dakota, Roy became a radio announcer, which he credits with teaching him how to enunciate and project, skills that have served him well as a singer. He left radio to play in road bands throughout the Midwest and Canada before settling in Minneapolis, where he has spent the past forty years playing full-time music. Roy is a soulful country singer with a voice that has been compared to Ronnie Dunn and Percy Sledge.
Although he started writing songs at age thirteen, Roy didn't get serious about songwriting until the early nineties, when he began making regular trips to Nashville to write and pitch his songs. He became Minneapolis-St. Paul coordinator for the Nashville Songwriters Association International and led that chapter for 26 years. He has won several songwriting awards, including being a finalist in the John Lennon songwriting contest, and has had over twenty independent artists record songs he has written.
Roy has written and recorded five albums and is excited about his latest project, "Once Upon a Time in a Barroom." This concept album is a tribute to the now-closed Minneapolis music hotspot, Lee's Liquor Bar, where Roy played in various house bands for several years. Based on his experiences at that legendary venue, the album was released on May 26, 2023.
With his wealth of musical talent and years of experience, Roy Holdren has become a fixture in the Minneapolis music scene. He continues to write, perform, and record music, always seeking to connect with audiences and share his love of music.
"Roy Holdren is as genuine as they come. A prolific songwriter, a great performer, and an asset to any project he’s a part of. Whether sitting behind the drums or strumming a guitar, Roy is engaging and entertaining on stage. He has worked with many close personal friends of mine creating some fantastic music, and they all speak very highly of him. I’ve had the pleasure of having Roy on my radio show a few times, and I’ve always enjoyed his company. He has an excellent sense of humor and he’s a great conversationalist. I can’t speak highly enough about Roy. Songs just seem to flow out of this man. If you’re looking for a collaboration, or an artist for your upcoming event, look no further. Roy is your guy."
Brandon Backstrom Host of the BOB FM Homegrown show
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