BEATRICE, Neb. (AP) - Beatrice has the blues living in its own backyard, and that shouldn't give anyone the blues.
For the last four years, internationally touring blues guitarist and singer Shawn "Lil' Slim" Holt has called Beatrice home. Born and raised in Chicago, the bluesman has also lived in Lincoln. He moved to the Sunland with his wife, Stephanie, so she could be closer to family.
Holt has an office for him and his band in Lincoln, and has toured around America and the world playing Chicago-style electric blues. So living in Beatrice is a calming escape from the life of a musician.
"It's relaxing," Holt told the Beatrice Daily Sun (http://bit.ly/1dhSb2x). "It's less stress; you're more comfortable at home.
"Even though I have to drive up and down Highway 77 two or three times every day in an old dinosaur."
Holt is a natural talent on guitar. He is the son of renowned Chicago bluesman Morris "Magic Slim" Holt, now deceased, who gave Shawn a guitar at the age of 16 and had him playing with his band a year later.
"I played ball when I was in high school; I was a jock," Holt said. "I tore my ACL when I played at Lincoln High, so that slowed that down, and I picked up a guitar.
"I just got it. The guys in the band said I was a natural."
Lil' Slim has perfected his art over the years and has taken his music around the world, often selling out large theatres and venues overseas.
"We just got back from Scandinavia, and every theater, every amphitheater was sold out," Holt said. "They love American folk music. They'd keep us around for two or three encores."
With talent like this living in Beatrice, you may figure he would play more around town, and though Holt says he's willing, his neighbors seem content to let him rest.
"I've played a few times around town, and I would love to play every day," Holt said. "But no one really bugs me about it. They know I just got back from tour, so they let me be."
Holt did play in Beatrice last weekend, Saturday, March 22, at Kabo at 115 S. Fifth St. for the bar owner's birthday party.
So although Holt may not be a particularly visible resident of Beatrice, he certainly is an audible one, content to live the good life in the Sunland in between treks around the globe.
"There's no place like home," he said.
Information from: Beatrice Sun, http://www.beatricedailysun.com