Keogh Holterman
Keogh Holterman Supplied

15-year-old boy wonder makes festival debut

KEOGH Holterman is a bush loving teenager from Emerald Beach with big dreams. At only 15, the aspiring musician is on his way to achieving his goal: to make music his career.

Having already caused ripples with his earthy performances at school concerts and RSL gigs, he is now set to make a splash at the 2008 Coffs Harbour International Buskers and Comedy Festival.

Down to earth and with a maturity beyond his years, Keogh has developed a style similar to that of singer-songwriters such as Xavier Rudd and Jack Johnson – firmly digging his heels into the genre of roots and blues and kicking up a bit of rock dust for good measure.

“During my performances I play a wide variety of instruments including acoustic and electric guitars, lapsteel guitar, didgeridoo (yirdaki), harmonica, foot percussion and vocals," he said.

“Some of my greatest musical inspirations are musicians such as John Butler, Xavier Rudd, Jack Johnson, Ash Grunwald and The Cruel Sea. I just love the groovy blues/rock style of music that they play, the way they perform and entertain and how the lyrics are true and realistic.

"I was captivated by how talented one-man-band performers like Xavier Rudd can play so many instruments at one time, which inspired me to become one myself.”

Having first acquired a guitar at the age of 10, Keogh was encouraged by his teachers and parents to pursue music.

An avid writer, he has a few original songs in the works, but admits that being only 15 limits his subject matter.

“I don’t have much life experience yet; one of my songs is about sitting in a class room and it feeling a bit like a prison…..maths is not my favourite subject," he said.

And while Keogh enjoys playing baseball and golf, hanging out with his mates and heading bush to go camping and fishing, his real passion is music.

Spotted as a rising talent by entertainment producer, John Logan, arrangements were made to have Keogh rock it out amongst the world’s most seasoned street performers at the upcoming buskers festival.

“John Logan spotted me performing at the John Paul College heat of the Youngblood competition… playing solo to fill in time for a drop-out band, he immediately offered me a gig at the Sawtell RSL, the response from that was really good so when the busking festival came up, I rang him and asked to be involved.”

Excited about his first ever busking gig, Keogh looks forward to “performing to members of the public, so far I’ve only really done school stuff so it will be interesting to see how a different audience will react. I hope that they like me and throw in a coin or two.”

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