Hotly-tipped Edinburgh balladeer Adam Holmes crafts lyrics that resonate like old folk songs, set to melodies rooted in haunting slow airs. John Martyn’s strum and sting, laced with a slice of Paolo Nutini soul and a touch of traditional folk.

The 23-year-old Edinburgh-born singer/songwriter is one of the brightest rising stars on the Scottish folk scene, with influences from either side of the Atlantic mixing traditional and contemporary folk with his own brand of Americana.

Starting out on fiddle, Holmes switched to guitar at 14, and began writing songs only a year or so later. A finalist in the 2009 Celtic Connections Young Traditional Musician of the Year competition, he was also nominated as Best Newcomer at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2011 and was further nominated for Best Up and Coming Artist at the 2013 Scots Trad Music Awards.

In 2013 he and his band, The Embers, recorded his debut album Heirs and Graces with legendary producer John Wood (responsible for seminal albums by John Martyn, Nick Drake, Richard Thompson and Sandy Denny amongst many others). It was mastered by Simon Heyworth, co-producer with Mike Oldfield of Tubular Bells, and was launched to great critical acclaim in January 2014.

Heirs and Graces  has received radio play in the UK, including the influential BBC Radio 2 Folk Show and live interviews/sessions on BBC Radio Scotland, and international airplay from stations in mainland Europe, the US and Canada.

Despite his youth, Holmes’s music distils a long and diverse wealth of experience. Childhood memories of growing up in Edinburgh include getting sneaked into afternoon sessions by his mum – a keen folk fan since the 1960s – at the city’s best-known folk pubs, the Royal Oak and Sandy Bell’s.  Dad, meanwhile, was a devotee of classic singer-songwriters, introducing his son to Stateside greats like Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Townes Van Zandt and Ry Cooder, while Holmes’s own adolescent tastes extended to grunge and hip-hop.


I’ve never really seen any big distinctions in music,” he says.What hip-hop’s doing now is essentially the same as whoever wrote traditional songs was doing 300 years ago: both are telling everyday stories about people’s lives, and that’s what’s always drawn me.”


Debut Album Heirs and Graces – Available Now!

Heirs & Graces, the breathtaking debut album from Adam Holmes, recorded with legendary producer John Wood (responsible for seminal albums by John Martyn, Nick Drake, Sandy Denny, Richard Thompson) and mastered by Simon Heyworth (producer of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells), is now available on CD from Amazon and on MP3 from all good download sites.

Full of rich guitar textures and mellow love songs with a hint of darkness, it’s the sort of album that seeps gracefully into your soul with such conviction you know this 23-year-old singer songwriter from Edinburgh is the real deal… Colin Irwin, Penguin Eggs

It’s seldom that an album I record is such a pleasure to work on as Adam’s Heirs and Graces. One could well be surprised that this is the work of a 23-year-old making his first album, such is the assuredness of his performance and the timeless quality of the material… John Wood, Producer

Buy it now


Adam Holmes and the Embers at the 50th Cambridge Folk Festival

Adam and the band are honoured to have been asked to play one of the prestigious showcase slots at this years Cambridge Folk Festival, which this year is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary. Each year the festival selects just 5 showcase artists which it thinks will go on to great things in the future and previous artists to have graced this stage are Cara Dillon, Karine Polwart, Seth Lakeman, the Staves and 2014 BBC Folk Singer of the Year Bella Hardy.

The festival is now completely sold out but for existing ticket holders information Adam and the band are performing on Saturday the 2nd of August.

Adam Holmes and The Embers - Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Adam Holmes and the Embers at the Shetland Folk Festival

Adam and the band are delighted to have been announced as one of the main acts at the 2014 Shetland Folk Festival which this year is being held from the 1st to the 4th of May.

This really is one of THE “must go to” festivals and full details of the stunning line-up of acts from all over the world together with ticket and travel information can be found on the festival site here.