Holden Richards has been making music in and around Chapel Hill for two decades starting out in the 1980s in the seminal punk band the Pound Notes. The Pound Notes brushes with fame include when it recorded a quick demo at the famous "Drive In" with Mitch Easter (REM, Let's Active) around 1982 and also that a member of that early group was John Schultz, now a Hollywood director (Like Mike).
Around Fall 1983 Holden started the folk/pop/rock band One Plus Two and landed a record deal with Homestead Records for 2 albums. Members of One Plus Two went on to join the dBs (Eric Peterson) and Snatches of Pink (Andy McMillan). One Plus Two Albums reviewed fairly well and hit high numbers in the college radio charts of the time. At the peak of their popularity One Plus Two was showcased on MTV's The Cutting Edge.
After One Plus Two had run its course, Holden joined with longtime triangle music scene stalwart Paul Price and started the Swamis. The Swamis lasted from 1986 to 1996 with various changes in personnel but rarely performed without Price or Richards. It was during this time that long time associations with producer Wes Lachot (Velvet Crush, John Hartford) and others in the triangle music scene led to the many musical collaborations on the Swamis CD "Not Where I Started From" some notable appearances included Chris Stamey (dBs) , Stacy Guess (Squirrel Nut Zippers) Ed Butler(Red Clay Ramblers), Jack Campbell (Pressure Boys, Johnny Quest), Parthenon Huxley (Rick Rock, Orchestra) and included rough tracks from Darren Jessee (Ben Folds Five) who had a brief stint in the band as well.
The latter part of the 1990s saw Holden participate as a regular in the Songwriter's Alliance with triangle music luninaries Jeff Hart (The Ruins, Brown Mountain Lights) Wes Lachot and Chris Stamey and later Brad Newell (Eight Eyes, The Graphic). The Songwriters Alliance show format allowed for divergent guest artists like Ryan Adams (Whiskeytown) and Claire Holley to perform with the regulars.
In 2001 Holden was asked to participate in "Chronic Night - celebrating 20 years of REM" concert in Chapel Hill along with other scene notables. Holden Richards continues to record and perform today. His new CD "What I Gave Away" features new songs and contributions from an amazing group of musicians.
Holden is currently working on a new album entitled
"Heart Shaped Conversation."