• 88°

Troy native makes music for children

Brent Holmes is a singer, a songwriter and a humorist.

He lives near Nashville, Tenn. on a pleasant piece of land that he shares with one horse, one cat and two sheep.

His humorous songs have been recorded by Ray Stevens, Jerry Clower, Minnie Pearl and Williams and Ree.

That’s what Brent Holmes’ Web site tells the curious public about him.

But that’s not what folks around Pike County want to know about one of their own.

Folks want to know what happened to the affable young man, a-wash in God-given talents, who went out to seek his fortune in the music business.

Holmes, who was home in Troy for Christmas, laughs at the idea of seeking a “fortune” in the music business.

He just wanted to be able to make a scant living doing what he loves to do – make happy music.

And, he’s doing just that.

Holmes now has 10 CDs of fun tunes for kids and four DVDs of fun tunes for kids on the market and all are selling, maybe not like hotcakes, but like a double dip chocolate ice cream cone.

“Fifteen years ago,” Holmes said, with a smile. “That’s how long it’s been since I had ‘the dream.’”

Holmes was living in Nashville and prepared to take advantage of any break that came his way.

However, it was not a break that propelled him headfirst onto the silly song scene. It was a rather silly dream.

“I dreamed that a cow was in my grandmother’s kitchen, knocking over things and making a big mess,” he said. “So, I wrote a song about it. Then I wrote another little cow song and another.”

Right about the same time, Holmes was pitching his songs to some of the big names in Nashville and several of them were batting a thousand with his tunes.

He was pleased but in the back on his mind, he kept hearing cow tunes.

“I never really thought about a CD about cow tunes until I was in Vermont and visited Ben and Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream Factory,” Holmes said.

“Ben and Jerry’s is Vermont’s biggest tourist attraction and, as I walked around the factory, I saw all of these souvenir items that related to cows. That got me thinking. Vermont is cow oriented so there’s a lot of local interest in cows as well as tourist interest. I thought a CD about cows might work in Vermont.”

Soon, Holmes had enough catchy cow tunes to make an album and he titled it “Cow Tunes for Kids.”

The CD had some silly songs, some songs that made a good bit of sense and some teaching songs.

Holmes got together with a producer friend of his and he agreed to help Holmes with the project.

However, he suggested that they make the CD one that adults would enjoy, too.

“Cow Tunes for Kids” was the trailhead of a path to Holmes’ future.

He made a second CD of Moose tunes and then one of Bear tunes and Sea tunes.

Then he made a CD of Fun Tunes for Teachers and food-related tunes called Moose Berry Jam.

And, every recording artist worth his salt, makes a Christmas album, so Holmes recorded “Berry Christmas Moose.”

One CD led to another and he soon was able to leave his “day” job and concentrate on his Moo-sic career.

His ‘Silliest Songs’ came next and then “Fun Tunes for Recovering Kids.”

“That’s an extra long CD of songs for kids who are in the hospital or stuck at home sick,” he said. “It’s one that I hope cheers them up.”

All of Holmes’ CDs have a teaching element that is cleverly hidden in the fun so kids don’t even know.

All of them are animal oriented because all kids love animals.

And, as much as kids enjoy singing about animals and creating their own mental pictures as they sing, they also live in a visual world.

Holmes realized that kids could learn about the animals as they sing their songs.

So, he embarked on another project – DVDs of animal tunes.

He has four DVDs about animals. Three are tried and true – bear tunes, moose tunes and sea tunes.

His latest is galloping along a different trail, “Horse Tunes for Kids.”

Moose Tunes was filmed in the wilds of the mountain West and Bear Tunes was filmed in Minnesota at “a place where you can film bears without being attacked.”

“‘Sea Tunes’ was filmed at several different aquariums, including Atlanta, Gatlinburg and Chattanooga,” Holmes said. “I have a friend who is a videographer in Hawaii and he did some great underwater photography for me.

Sea Tunes for Kids is the best seller because it has so much variety.

A bear is a bear and a moose is a moose but there are so many different kinds of sea creatures that it’s really exciting and colorful.”

After 15 years of driving all around the country looking for inspiration and marketing his CDs and DVDs,

Holmes is a little more grounded.

He now attends trade shows and music conventions to find outlets for his animal tunes.

But, he still finds his inspiration along the highways and byways of this great country that is filled with critters of all kinds.

He never knows what idea might be lurking around the next curve of the road in Seattle or Anchorage or what opportunities might await him at an international music convention in France in January and February.

“There will be recording companies from all over the world at the convention in France and I’m looking forward to being there and seeing what all is out there in the world of music,” Holmes said.

And, he will also “see” what direction the industry will take in the next few years so that he will be “in tune” with the times.

Holmes CDs and DVDs are available locally at Adams Stained Glass Studio and at amazon.com or by calling 1-800-356-9315.