We had the good fortune of connecting with Floramay Holliday and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Floramay, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
As the oldest of 5 in a musical family, I began making up songs on the piano at an early age, writing stories and poems, and putting on variety shows with the family. Our sibling band is called the Roseneath Ramblers, named after our home, Roseneath Farm. In high school I was interested in film photography and learned how to play guitar, writing songs and exploring visual arts and the connection of words with music. At the University of South Carolina, I majored in Media Arts and minored in English, then worked as a medical photographer for McLeod Hospital in Florence, SC, with a side gig freelancing weddings and portraits. In my free time, I was writing songs and honing my guitar skills at coffee houses and bluegrass festivals, dreaming of one day traveling with my music.

Before she passed away, my grandmother, the original Floramay Holliday, encouraged me to follow my dreams and head west. In 1998 I moved to Austin, and, with the help of family friend, the legendary Clifford Antone, recorded my first album, put a band together, and began playing live shows. For extra money, I worked as a photographer’s assistant and darkroom specialist for Scott Newton at Austin City Limits. These were my dream jobs!
Today, I’m a singer-songwriter, wife and mother, working on my 5th album in the studio, on my label, Roseneath Records. I stay involved in many different musical projects, including the all-female rock group, Sis Deville, the bluegrass band Over the River (with the late Erik Swanson), as well as collaborations with my brother in law, Will Holland, at Chillhouse Studios in Boston. I teach various songwriting camps and workshops, and have organized many local music festivals and neighborhood events. In 2020, my husband Gabor and I began a Front Porch Thursday music show that aired live on Facebook. He plays harmonica and sings, and the pandemic really brought us together as a duo show. We also host a Music Safari event in our neighborhood, where various artists play on their front porches while the audience walks from house to house to enjoy the music. We’ve had 3 so far, and planning another when the weather gets cool.
I guess you could say an artistic career chose me, and it’s one from which I’ll never retire!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I used to believe you had to suffer to create great art. Our trials and tribulations are fuel for the creative fire. My early poetry was dark, brooding over my parent’s divorce in a teenage depression at boarding school.. When I first picked up the guitar and set my poems to music, I began to feel a responsibility to deliver a positive message. A chorus is like a mantra, and a song stuck in your head can be good for the soul. In this way, I believe I healed myself through songwriting and saved a lot of money in therapy!

As I’ve gotten older and became a wife and mother, I’ve learned to prioritize my life a bit better. Finding the balance between family and making time for my art is important. God gives us gifts for a reason, and songs have been coming in droves lately. I’m excited for my upcoming 5th album, preceded by a few singles. I am so grateful to the New Bohemians, John Bush, Kenny Withrow, Brad Houser and Matt Hubbard, for playing with me on this record. Their influence on the songs is a welcome new sound. My husband, Gabor Racz, plays beautiful harmonica on the album as well.

Variety is the spice of life, and my music spans different genres, depending on the story. From country, to folk-rock, to bluegrass and blues, Americana would be the best way to describe it. However, this new album has a fresh, contemporary feel, with some upbeat rock-pop vibes. I’m excited to share the new songs with you. Be on the lookout for my new music video, “Hearts Have Wings”, coming this Fall!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.

It is always a joy to have friends come visit us in Dallas, and our neck of the woods is especially fun to show-off.
I’d begin with a delivery of Taco Deli’s famous Otto breakfast tacos. Then, after a nice cup of my favorite Oak Cliff Coffee roasters blend, Victor’s Prospers, I’d take our friends, and the dogs, for a nature walk through the tree-lined hills of our neighborhood, East Kessler Park. The bird watching is great, and I enjoy spotting our local Bard owl or a Yellow Crowned Night Heron.

For entertainment, I’d plan their visit around one of my shows at the finest local listening rooms in town. I like performing at the Kessler Theater and enjoy having dinner at Nova before we take the stage. Poor David’s Pub is another great listening room, and the All Good Cafe has live music and good comfort food. Another fun place for music and Sunday brunch is the Bartonville Country store. The Longhorn Ballroom is currently being renovated and restored by our friend, Edwin Cabaniss, the owner of the Kessler Theater. Stars like Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, B.B. King, and the Sex Pistols have all graced the Longhorn stage, and I look forward to playing there when it opens!

A day in Bishop Arts is always a must, starting with brunch and bloody marys at Gloria’s, a foot rub at Ya-Ya foot spa, then a walk around to see all the cool shops. Marcel Market has affordable french designs and market items. DLM, Joy Macaroons, Davis St Mercantile, and Oil and Cotton are also favorite places to go. For dinner, we would rent the private dining room at Ame’, Indian French cuisine, owned by chef Afifa Nayeb. It’s always an amazing dining experience, and the Lavender Malai with edible flowers for dessert is devine!

Other good places for dinner are Sum Dang Good with their famous soup dumplings, or Beto & Sons in Trinity Groves. At Sylvan Thirty, we love to eat at Ten Ramen, Whisk Crepes for dessert, then go upstairs to the Sylvan Avenue Tavern for a game of pool. If we want to grill steaks at the house, Cooper’s Meat Market and Coxe Farms are where we get the best meats and fresh produce. Of course, we’d have to fit in lunch one day at Spiral Diner, with their addictivily yummy cashew nacho cheese and Big Texas Salad. For sports fans, my husband Gabor would take our friends to a Cowboys or Mavericks game, with a trip to Cavender’s for some Texas boots, hats, and snap shirt souvenirs..
Oak Cliff is like the Austin of Dallas, and I’m always proud to introduce friends to the wonderful people that live here. It’s a special place, that values it’s history, restores old buildings, and has a friendly, small-town feeling.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to give a Shoutout to my good friend and singer-songwriter, Shelley King. She was the first woman to be voted Texas State Musician and has won many awards for her songwriting. Her talent, skill and determination inspire me to work harder towards my goals. We have co-written several songs, and started a fun side-project together, our all-female rock band, Sis Deville, with legends Carolyn Wonderland, Lisa Pankratz and Sarah Brown. Shelley is one of the hardest working musicians I know, and I always look forward to our visits, when we just might write another hit song!

Website: https://www.floramay.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/floramay.holliday/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Floramay-Holliday

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/floramayholliday

Other: Floramay Holliday on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2EhNlEojsIdGKLcPrIT4UJ?si=EYBcHf3jQE6whhBdfDkaPA Floramay on iTunes https://music.apple.com/us/artist/floramay-holliday/5984393 New Press Articles and Links: https://linktr.ee/floramayholliday

Image Credits
First main portrait photo- taken by Dixie Dixon Images 1&2 Front Porch Thursday show with Floramay Holliday and Gabor Racz. Special guest, our daughter, Adelaid Racz Sis Deville- 3. Floramay stage jumps, photo by Aliya Rosegreen 4. Sis Deville poster- (left to right) Carolyn Wonderland, Lisa Pankratz, Sarah Brown, Floramay Holliday & Shelley King 5. Sis D- Carolyn Wonderland, Floramay Holliday and Shelley King (photo by Nichole Wagner) 6. Over the River bluegrass band – Larry Reed, Don Thacker, Floramay Holliday, Erik Swanson, Kim Herriage , live at the Allen Public Library 7. Duo show- Floramay Holliday and Gabor Racz

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