He’s back … not that he went anywhere. Long time Las Vegas vocalist, songwriter and entertainer Clint Holmes is carrying out once again at the site of his very first Vegas residency, the showroom at downtown’s Golden Nugget.
“I did open for Don Rickles often times there in the ’80s when I lived in Los Angeles. Whenever Don would play that space I ‘d boil down and do a weekend with him,” states Holmes, who has now called Las Vegas house for nearly Twenty Years. “When Steve Wynn welcomed to play there in 1999 was when I vacated here and moved my whole household out here, and it changed my life.”
For now, Holmes is performing Tuesday and Wednesday at 8 p.m. through Aug. 30– find more info here– though he’s hoping the engagement will continue beyond the summer season. We grabbed the Vegas veteran for a fast chat about yearning for lounges, his recently released jazz album Rendezvous, and more.
Exactly what are you working on at this very minute? I have actually been working really hard on this job that’s happening in a few weeks in New york city. It handles the music of Charles Aznavour. I simply did a program at Birdland [jazz club] there and I was approached by the director Will Nunziata who had this principle of doing an Aznavour piece in New york city, Paris and London, where his work was appreciated. It involves me and 3 women representing the females in Aznavour’s life, and I’m doing a reading for prospective producers [this month] It sounds pretty pressure-packed, and I’m entering knowing none of the songs, so I’m discovering them all from scratch. It’s interesting however also hard.
But Aznavour is maybe the Bob Dylan or Leonard Cohen of France, not a rock person however a storyteller. His tunes all inform stories, and they’re thick and thick, not pop tunes with choruses. There’s one terrific song, “Pleased Anniversary,” about how everything possible has actually gone wrong on this couple’s anniversary … the zipper on her dress broke, they’re too late for the program they purchased tickets to go to, but strolling down the street and buying a flower verifies whatever they understanding of each other. Naturally, it takes eight verses to obtain there. It’s quite wonderful however extremely specific, and it’s the kind of thing I truly enjoy due to the fact that I learn and grow from doing things like that.
You started your brand-new residency at the Golden Nugget on May 9. Exactly what is it about that space and you? Not only is the room very comfy, but it’s been among those deals when literally from the very first wedding rehearsal, it’s like, this is excellent. It’s kinda home. I like the intimacy of the room, and there are a great deal of people from when I first worked there that are still there, techs or ushers. I really did feel like house. Harrah’s still feels that method, and the Smith Center, too.
You’ve played numerous Vegas spaces on and off the Strip. How does your experience carrying out modification from location to venue? Well, I do exactly what I do. In that sense, it doesn’t change, however I will constantly get a feel for exactly what the space responds to, exactly what the customers of the hotel is, and in some cases there is a feel to a certain space. At the Nugget, it’s an extremely stimulated room. Frankie Moreno is doing two nights a week there now, too, and he has the same sensation. Maybe it’s the low ceilings, or maybe that the first row of the audience is five feet away. However it’s a really instant, personal, intimate space, and that’s a lot different from the big display rooms where there can be a particular separation from the audience.
That design of room, whether it’s smaller sized or just a more traditional showroom, is really hard to discover in Las Vegas these days. It’s the venue that we’re missing. It is harder to find rooms like the Golden Nugget, with 500 to 700 seats and the acts that work best in that space. I miss the lounges, and here’s why: I was a little too young for the Louis Prima era, when there were shows that began [late] that individuals would line up for. Exactly what I notice from that time is that they offered the gambling establishment a particular energy that comes from music and enjoyment in the heart of the casino. It’s not a ticketed experience or something you ‘d go to the box workplace for and after that sit a mile from the program. It’s a space you ‘d get in line for and hope you get a seat, and Frank Sinatra or Tom Jones or among those people may stroll on phase– that kind of instant energy. I want we had more of that available. Instead they are taking those little rooms and turning them into something else, and I get it, everything has to be practical. But personally, I miss out on that excitement and I would be in casinos more if there was more music to see and experience on a simpler level.
You have actually been working some tunes from Rendezvous into your act. That album wound up being greatly influenced by your moms and dads’ musical backgrounds, but did you prepare it that method? To be sincere I think it simply took place that way. When I sat down with the manufacturers, the very first thing among them, Gregg Field, asked was, “What’s your favorite tune?” It’s most likely “Maria” from West Side Story, so we started from there. As we constructed the CD, it was kind of organic. We never stated, let’s do a biographical CD. It just ended up being the tunes I enjoy, songs that strike me on an emotional level, some I like and some I composed and some that simply turned out to be personal.
Besides the Aznavour job, what’s next for you? Well it’s constantly great to have a home in Vegas and I’m hoping the Golden Nugget will achieve success. I still have the objective of doing my own one-man theater piece and I’m constantly dealing with that. The goal is be on or off Broadway doing my story, which is musical, and I’m writing that all the time. Even the Aznavour piece is potentially a step toward doing my own one-man piece.
Likewise because of the CD I’m starting to do jazz festivals, which is something I have actually never done, Aspen, Lake Tahoe, others. It has actually opened a new avenue for me and it’s entered into my musical life that I have actually never ever fully checked out. You can’t simply walk into a casino and do jazz, or a minimum of it’s extremely tough. So I more than happy to have those outlets to do more of that.