by Xavier Kataquapit
VENICE ITALY – Lee Holmes, a musician from Iroquois Falls, is performing in the city of Venice, Italy this April and May. Billed as Lee Holmes and the Beautitones, his Venice based band has been playing venues in and around this historic city for almost a decade.
ìOver the years during my visits to Venice, I have been developing close ties with gifted Italian musicians from this amazing city. For many years now myself and the Beautitones have been playing mostly original material in wonderful settings throughout the Venice area,î explained Holmes.
He and his wife Alana Pierini, an artist also from Iroquois Falls, have been writing original tunes for more than a decade. They have produced three albums to date. The first two ëPiece Of Cakeí and ëMouseí were developed by The Hurtin Blues Band and the third ëSit Down Bluesí featuring Holmes, was produced by reknown musician Peter Karp. All three albums can be found through online music services on Spotify and iTunes.
The current band Lee ëLeonbassí Holmes and the Beautitones features Venetians Bruno Natural and Marco Bolognini on guitars, Massimo Prosdocimo on drums and Holmes on bass and as lead singer. Live recordings of the group can be found on Youtube under the search term ëLee Holmes and the Beautitonesí.
Holmes, an owner of the Home Hardware store in Iroquois Falls has been involved in the music industry for decades. He studied music at Capilano University in North Vancouver and then performed, toured and recorded with many bands over the years.
Over the years, he and Pierini have been a big part of the music scene in Northern Ontario and were co-founders of the popular Porquis Bluesfest, in Porquis, Ontario.
“I find now we play mostly our own original tunes and fewer covers. Alana develops the lyrics and I come up with the music and arrangement for our songs. The creative process is something we both enjoy,” commented Holmes.
Although they never expected to find such success with their music in Italy and such a dedicated fan base, the couple is excited by recent developments.
During their recent concert at the historic renovated monastery Crociferií, which is now a cafe and student residence, they played to a large audience in a medieval cloister courtyard next to the ëCaffe Ai Crociferií restaurant.
“We were very pleased to have Lee Holmes and the Beautitones perform here tonight. We have had many bands play here over the past year but this group was the best ever by far,” said venue manager Fabio Ballottari.