I am going to write about a relatively unknown guitarist today. I was looking around for video of his old band and came across some of his work in the late 80’s and early 90’s. I was very impressed with his songs.
Robert Holmes, born in England in 1957, found some success as a founding member, songwriter and guitarist for one of my favorite 80’s-era bands, ‘Til Tuesday. The band formed in Boston in 1982, with members bassist/vocalist Aimee Mann, Robert on guitar and vocals, keyboardist Joey Pesce, and drummer Michael Hausman.
Robert’s guitar work was texture-driven, fairly simplistic and minimal but very effective for the type of music ‘Til Tuesday was playing. The first album, Voice Carry, was a hit on MTV and radio with the song, “Voices Carry.” Other songs on the album, “Love in a Vacuum” and “I Could Get Used to This” featured Robert’s tasteful, echo-laden guitar work.
“Til Tuesday were very popular then and toured all over the world. In 1986 the new LP Welcome Home, was critically received but failed to do much on the charts. Aimee Mann was moving away from the new wave sound of the first album.
The next LP, Everything's Different Now , released in 1988, was not a success. It peaked at #124, while the lead single "(Believed You Were) Lucky" barley made it into the top 100.
'Til Tuesday broke up after that.
Robert went on to form Ultra Blue, with his wife Glenda on vocals. I found some of their songs on YouTube last night and was very impressed with them. Ultra Blue won best new artist at the Boston Music Awards in 1989 and made many recordings. However, they never made it big.
Robert really shows his guitar skills on these songs. He never played like this with “Til Tuesday!
In 1996 he moved to Vermont and formed "Love Bomb" for which he was the leader and lead guitarist. They have built up a following in the Southern Vermont/ Western Massachusetts area, performing at numerous weddings and private parties. Robert is now a free lance guitar player for hire.
I wish Robert was more known in the music world. His guitar playing is excellent, and the songs by Ultra Blue are very good. Here are a few of them. Visit his website to hear more songs.