Hello and thank you for visiting my site.
My name is Holger Olesen. I am extremely honored to have been given the chance to work with The Little Roy & Lizzy show as their bass player since March 2020. I am super excited about the opportunity to work for a legend like Little Roy and to work and learn alongside such a truly amazing artist and strong vocalist as Lizzy Long. It is such an honor to make music with these fantastic musicians and my other band mates.
Before college and during my freshman year I played resonator guitar and sang in the bands Continental Drive and Porcupine Creek. I also performed in a duo called Hooker and Holger and growing up I performed with my family in the Sloughgrass band for many years.
I graduated from East Tennessee State University (ETSU) with dual degrees in Bluegrass, Country and Old-time music and Manufacturing Engineering Technology in 2021 and with an Masters of Sciences degree in Engineering Technology in 2023. I am now working as an adjunct staff member in the Bluegrass and Engineering departments at ETSU where I teach guitar building, instrument repair and project scheduling.
I have been playing music ever since I can remember--singing with my family band from the time I was four years old, taking piano lessons throughout elementary and junior high, playing saxophone in the Indus school bands and playing the resonator guitar from when I was very young. I began playing the resonator guitar because my older cousin, Gary Hultman (Blue Highway), was already playing it and my dad thought it was a good instrument for me to start on. For several years I took theory, vocal and resonator guitar lessons from Gary Hooker, a guitar teacher and musician now based in Park Rapids, MN. I have recorded several CD’s with Sloughgrass and have been a part of many other CD projects as a band member or studio musician. Sloughgrass also did a PBS TV special on Prairie Public TV in 2012 and I am a part of several other PBS TV and KCC-TV music shows. I have played with several bands before I went to college all over Minnesota and into North Dakota and Canada at festivals, fairs and all kinds of events. Since I began touring with the Little Roy and Lizzy Show I have been playing throughout the United States including a cruiseship.
In 2013 I joined the band Porcupine Creek, based out of Duluth and Wyoming, MN. Porcupine Creek released two CD projects and recorded two PBS TV Specials. The band also won the MBOTMA band contest one year and placed second at the Minnesota State Fair Americana band contest the next year.
In 2018 I co-founded the band Continental Drive with Matthew Songmaker and Jacob Wright, Jake Riggins, and Andrew Lathe. when we were all students in the ETSU Bluegrass program, to tour during the summer.
My first big influence on the resonator guitar was Rob Ickes. I took a weekend-long workshop with Rob when I was 10 years old and he was at the Masters Weekend in Lutsen, MN. Sally Van Meter was also a big influence on me. She taught me the first song that I learned at Resosummit the first year I went in 2010. In my teens I took lessons online from Mike Witcher, an outstanding teacher and musician. But my biggest influence has always been my cousin Gary Hultman who played with the Boxcars, the Highland Travelers and now with Blue Highway.
I enjoy all kinds of bluegrass and new-grass music plus I like to listen to AC/DC, Queen, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Van Morrison and lots of other types of music.
Please check out the songs in the player below if you would like.