Spencer Holmes was live at The Den in Quesnel on Saturday, Nov. 13. (Rebecca Dyok photo)

Spencer Holmes was live at The Den in Quesnel on Saturday, Nov. 13. (Rebecca Dyok photo)

Quesnel singer-songwriter releasing debut album

King of the Cariboo will be streaming in late January

Spencer Holmes is living his dream.

The Quesnel singer-songwriter is releasing his debut album King of the Cariboo on Friday, Jan. 28.

“It’s been a long haul, so nice it’s to see things get wrapped up and be able to put it out,” he said.

Holmes described his music as a blend of genres featuring folk, country, rock and blues elements for all ages.

“My goal with music is just to try to put out things with feeling in it no matter the genre,” Holmes added.

“It’s just something that moves people; it’s the music I’ve gravitated to in my life.”

Before 2016 Holmes had worked as head trainer at the Quesnel Acceleration Centre, which operated at the Helen Dixon Centre, specializing in coaching hockey players.

Holmes said it has always been a secret dream of his to play music and decided to give it a shot.

“I got to thinking about it, like how can these young men and women chase their goals and dreams, and I wasn’t chasing mine, so I figured I better do that.”

Since then, Holmes hasn’t slowed down.

A stage managing job for a sound company gave him a backstage look at how other aspiring artists released their music.

“At the time, I never even sang into a microphone before, so there was a lot to learn, and it’s been good,” Holmes said.

“There’s the classic starving artist, but I’ve seemed to do alright and staying employed while I chase this.”

When he was stage managing and giving a ride from one festival to another, Holmes recalled when one of his friends jokingly called him ‘king of the north’ as she read “Lord of the Rings.”

“I thought that was pretty funny,” Holmes said of the incident that inspired the name of his debut album.

For several days, he met with producer Brandon Hoffman at his cabin in Lac La Hache and was joined with other musicians Holmes called good friends.

While Holmes eagerly waits for some final cuts, he estimates the album will contain 12 to 13 songs.

“I try to write often because it usually takes quite a few bad songs before you can get to anything good,” he said.

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“For this, I kind of wanted just to get everything I have out there, all the good, so that I can move onto a new phase.”

In mid-November, Holmes provided live music at The Den by Moonshine Coffee Roasters with musician Vagn Moore.

Holmes said Moore did an organ solo on his already released single ‘Scattered Minds’ and has also played a show with his spouse Layla Hansen, providing bass, and guitarist Dave Mckillin.

Holmes hopes to hold an album release in Quesnel or Kamloops.

“I’ve always been the type of person if I wanted to do something or learn something, I like to go after it,” he said, noting no one is going to do things for you and things are not going to fall into your lap.

As Holmes has gotten better with singing and songwriting, the support from his family has grown.

They were initially wary as he pursued a new and potentially tumultuous career.

“If you want something go after it and don’t be worried in the start,” Holmes said.

“Everybody sucks in the start, so just keep practicing and building, and one day you can do it.”

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