An avid fan of folk and bluegrass music, Christopher Holland found his love for the banjo in 2005 while studying music theory at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.
Holland grew up in the small, quaint town of Jim Thorpe, PA, and was influenced by his father and older sister to first pick up the guitar at the age of 14. After a few years of playing cover songs, spanning an eclectic collection of musicians from Jerry Garcia to John Prine, and everyone in between, he wanted to explore the genre of classical music and learn more advanced playing methods and build a deeper knowledge of composition and theory.
After high school, he went on to pursue an undergraduate degree in professional writing and communications at Kutztown, where he declared a minor in music performance with a concentration in classical guitar under the instruction of Grammy award-winning guitarist, Dr. David Cullen. He spent two years in the program and performed relentlessly with his sister who was a flutist and music education major at the same university.
During his undergraduate studies, Holland built a strong right hand and fingerpicking techniques and fell in love with the sound of the banjo after attending a few local bluegrass festivals and concerts. It didn’t take long for him to become passionate about the instrument and was heavily influenced by Béla Fleck’s album ‘Perpetual Motion’ which features classical compositions performed on banjo. From there, his love for the instrument continued to grow. Some of his biggest influences today are Béla Fleck, Noam Pikelny, Earl Scruggs, John Hartford, and Pete Seeger.
After graduating college, Holland relocated to Allentown, PA, where he met a few other folk/bluegrass musicians and formed what is now today an original stringed quintet called The Boiled Owls. The band is comprised of five-string banjo, upright bass, mandolin, and two Martin guitars.
Over the past few years the band has been making a strong presence in the festival circuit and more, playing relentlessly throughout eastern Pennsylvania and beyond.
Some of its most notable accomplishments have been performing with musicians including Sam Bush, Railroad Earth, Yarn, Cabinet, and many more.
The Boiled Owls released its self-titled EP in February 2015 and have been busy booking shows and continue to build a strong reputation in the folk, bluegrass and Americana scene. In the fall of 2015, the band will be back in the studio to record a full-length album that will be released in late winter/early spring. The Boiled Owls’ music, touring schedule and more can be found at theboiledowls.com.