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Darryl Holter Sings About Crooked Hearts
From Car Master to Los Angeles Roots Rocker

by Ryan Vaillancourt | Los Angeles Downtown News


Category: Music, Crooked Hearts
Darryl Holter is usually known as the suit-wearing executive who manages the Shammas Group’s Figueroa Street auto dealerships....So it may be a shock to some that Holter has spent time in recent years in a recording studio with his six string guitar. Last month, he released his third album, Crooked Hearts, a country and roots rock examination of relationships gone awry. On this CD he is backed by a lineup of top musicians, including guitarist Dave Alvin and fiddle player Gabe Witcher of the Punch Brothers.

darryl holter

Darryl Holter has spent increasing time
in recent years with his six string.
Photo by Kim Fox.

Holter currently has a residency at Seven Grand, downtown. He recently spoke with LA Downtown News about his music. Here are a few excerpts

Los Angeles Downtown News: You're known as the 'unofficial' president of dowtown's Auto Row. How and when did you start getting into music?

Darryl Holter: My father taught me when I was a kid. I grew up in Minnesota and I started playing around the state at talent contests and even television shows. I mainly did country western music when I was really young. Then I became very interested in the folk-music-revival in part because Bob Dylan came from Minnesota, so I felt there was somewhat of a direct connection. I literally went through doing every Bob Dylan song that seemingly ever existed. Then as a student I was involved in the civil rights and the anti-war movements, so I utilized a lot of my music there. I learned that music was a really positve and interesting way to connect with all types of people. Over the years I’d written a lot of songs and I decided about five years ago that I might like to record them. I thought if I don’t do it now, I’ll never do it.

Q: With players like Dave Alvin, Crooked Hearts has some well known & established musicians. How'd they end up on your new record?

A: When I decided to record, I mentioned to [Crooked Hearts co-producer Ben Wendel], “Look, I want to do this right.” We went out and got the very best guys we could. I’ve been playing music since I was very young but usually it’s been by solo, by myself. In doing these records I was luckily able to play with some really fantastic people.

"When I decided to record, I mentioned to [Crooked Hearts co-producer Ben Wendel], “Look, I want to do this right.” We went out and got the very best guys we could." Darryl Holter said.

Q: Do you expect your colleagues in the Downtown business world to drop by at your Seven Grand gigs?

A: I know a lot of them want to although the shows are kind of late for some of them, you know, ten o’clock on a Monday or Wed night.

Seven Grand is at 515 W. Seventh St. Darryl Holter's Crooked Hearts and show schedule are available at darrylholter.com

- Ryan Vaillancourt - Los Angeles Downtown News