NOT BREAKIN'

Steve Holy's new single mirrors his own real-life tough times

Story by Larry Holden * Photo by Ron Davis

My heart's broke, but don't be mistaken I'm not breakin' ... I'm not breakin'

The first time Steve Holy heard those words to his current single, "I'm Not Breakin'," they touched his soul. "The lyrics reflected the tough times in my life," confesses Steve, "such as when my dad died of a heart attack in '99 and when my brother died way too soon. The song ties into my life perfectly.

"I've been knocked down twice harder than I could have ever imagined. Both deaths just let the air out of me and my family. But with every turmoil we face, my family pulls together and we make it through. We bend, but we don't break."

Steve acknowledges that the new single is a relationship song. But he sees it as being so much more - for him personally and for anyone who needs a shot of hope during dark times.

"Sure, it's about a boy-girl relationship," he explains, "but, on a deeper level, the song also carries a powerful 'I will survive, I will triumph' message. It's about overcoming anything life throws at you. The chorus proclaims that you may have been defeated, but you won't break - and you will get back up."

Steve didn't have to go further than his own band to find the song that fit his real-life situation like a glove. "John Foster, who co-wrote 'I'm Not Breakin'' with Marc Christian, plays in my band," notes Steve proudly. "When John played the song for me, I knew it was something I would've written" - he laughs - "had I been smart enough! It was clearly a great song.

"I felt like the song was right down my alley," he adds. "Lyrically, it was right on the money. And melodically, it's kind of dark. It's sort of a cross between two of my earlier singles, 'The Hunger' and 'Blue Moon.' I like that it's a bridge to those songs. Plus it showcases what I love to do vocally, including a falsetto bit."

With the success of "I'm Not Breakin' " - now screaming up the charts - Steve's as-yet-unnamed sophomore album will no doubt have a jump-start when it reaches stores sometime in early 2003.

"So far we've cut 13 very strong songs for the new album," he notes. "Four of the songs we've already got are, I think, gonna be big, big, including a ballad called 'Rockabye Heart.' And there's one with a mid-groove called 'Hey Baby,' and 'Ways Of Way Back When' is a solid ballad. The fourth is 'Uh-Huh,' a killer up-tempo tune I co-wrote and have been playing live for some time."

In between his sessions in the recording studio, Steve is building a custom 4,250-square-foot house in his hometown of Dallas. "I'm really proud of the new house," he admits with a grin. "I designed it, with help from my good friend John Sharp, owner of Colonial Custom Homes of Fort Worth and Dallas. And John and I are working together to build it."

Steve's grin grows into a broad smile. "The house is designed to be a party house! The downstairs is completely open. The only thing that separates the living room from the dining room is a fireplace, which you can walk around from either side. Oh, yeah, it's definitely designed for parties. So my friends and family, including nine nephews and nieces, are gonna have a blast there!

"And there's going to be a special media room that's kinda cool. It'll have a state-of-the-art surround sound system and I just bought a huge plasma TV to hang on the wall. I may even do theater seating, too. Still deciding about that. I'm not a big movie guy, but I love sports. So I may have theater seating toward the back of the room."

The "party house" will also sport a shuffleboard table and pool table. "Like I said," tacks on Steve, "we're gonna have fun!"

Work on the house is finally moving along rapidly. "When we drilled the piers and were ready to rough in the plumbing," explains Steve, "12 days of rain set in. Now the plumbing's done and it's on target to be completed by March 1."

Somewhere along the way, Steve says he'll sell his other Dallas home. "Tell Country Weekly readers I've got one for sale," he chuckles.

Steve keeps tabs on the new house's progress almost daily when he's out on the road. And his road dates have been good - and getting better.

"We've played a ton of fairs and festivals lately," he beams, "and the new year is already shaping up with good bookings. So I'm sure we'll do another 150 dates in 2003."

Steve hopes no show in the new year will be as embarrassing as one he recently did in North Carolina. "I was performing at a wonderful seafood festival and someone had thrown a stuffed animal up onstage. I reached down to pick it up - and split my jeans right up the back! So, red-faced, I had to 'craw-dad,' or back up, all the way across the stage!

"As I scooted off, I told my acoustic player, Troy Johnston, who wrote 'Some Days You Gotta Dance' for the Chicks, to kick into that song to stall for time. So the crowd heard that while I was gone.

"When I came back onstage, the audience was howling. Since all my clothes were at the hotel, I had to finish the show wearing a pair of shorts and house shoes! My set turned into a comedy show."

As Steve takes time off the road to spend the Christmas holidays in Dallas with his family, he admits there's a lot for which he's thankful. "Having a five-week run at No. 1 with 'Good Morning Beautiful' made 2002 a truly wonderful year," he confides. "It was one of the most-played songs of the entire year. That makes me feel very good - and it's given a real lift to my career."

He pauses, a twinkle in his brown eyes.

"You know, I wouldn't mind keeping that kind of momentum rolling along all through 2003. That would be just fine with me."

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