Local act Bearded Holiday first started as a duo in fall 2006, with Wes Suitt on guitar and vocals and John McDonald on the piano.
’We sat down one night and wrote a song and it all started from there,’ Suitt said.
Suitt and McDonald expanded their twosome with an old high school friend of Suitt’s, Alex Nixon, on the drums in January 2007.
’I grew up with Alex in Arkansas and he and I were in a few bands together in high school, so our performing chemistry was already tight,’ Suitt said.
Thus, the trio began writing, performing and recording on its own in fall 2007 and collaborated with producer Dave Wilson to record a quality demo, ’Meet Me Where,’ at the Vibe 56 studio on Music Row in Nashville.
’Bearded Holiday is a well-rounded group of musicians with a sound that is catchy and recognizable,’ Wilson said. ’’Meet Me Where’ is a great song that can appeal to a lot of markets. It’s fun and dynamic, and a perfect example of their songwriting skills. This is an excellent group of dudes, and I would love to work with them again.’
In January of this year, Bearded Holiday augmented by two, Dan Johnson on lead guitar and Chandler Kellogg on the bass.
’The addition of these two guys completed the sound that we were looking for and the genre that we were writing in,’ Suitt said. ’They are a huge part of the Bearded Holiday sound.’
The title of the band’s demo is not only appealing for its sound, but also for the motivation behind its lyrical content.
’’Meet Me Where’ is a song that is all about Murfreesboro and MTSU,’ Suitt said. ’If you listen closely, you can hear every part of Murfreesboro that we love. We thought so many songs were about Nashville that it was time for Murfreesboro to share the spotlight.’
Bearded Holiday’s players said their sound appeals to music lovers searching for meaningful lyrics along with an eclectic sound.
’I would say that Bearded Holiday is a piano-driven rock group,’ McDonald said. ’We have a very singer-songwriter lyric style (and are) very lyric-driven, but we also pay a lot of attention to trying to set our music apart from other bands using our musical training and combined experiences to create a new sound.’
Bearded Holiday’s influences come from all types of bands such as Andy Davis, John McLaughlin, Billy Joel, Jimi Hendrix, Counting Crows and the Dave Matthews Band, just to name a few.
As for what drives Suitt and McDonald to compose Bearded Holiday’s songs, ’The motivation for our songs has come from so many places,’ McDonald said. ’Some of our songs are very personal and give insight into our souls. We try to write what we know. If you write about something to which you have no connection, the listener will see right through you.’
The players said they thrive off sharing their music with others on the stage as well.
’There is something about performing that gives you a rush,’ Suitt said. ’It is an emotional release to get words we have written out to the world.’
Bearded Holiday performs all over the middle Tennessee area, but mostly at the French Quarter Caf’, 823 Woodland St., in Nashville, including a May 29 performance.
Currently planning a summer tour through Arkansas, Georgia and Tennessee, the Bearded Holiday lineup assured music enthusiasts that experiencing one of its performances will be well worth the trip.
’We try to put on a high-energy show,’ Suitt said. ’Now we don’t roll around on stage or smash guitars, but we put everything we have in to performing the songs perfectly.’
To investigate Bearded Holiday’s sound online, click here.