Filtering by Tag: Country Music
It was so good to play in my hometown of North Platte, Nebraska. I hadn't been back in a while and I enjoyed seeing all my fiends and family. I haven't played a show in town for many years, so I was excited to get out there and perform for everyone. I set up a show at the Espresso Shop by Caravan run by Brandon Raby, who actually opened for me with his band mate Steve Barger. It turned out to be an awesome show and I was so happy to see old friends. To here more check out the North Platte Bulletin. Thank you to everyone who came out to support my music! ~Buena Onda~
After spending three weeks in Cuba, Kevin returned home with new music and a story to tell. The adventure began on New Year's Eve with a flight from Denver to Havana. The plan was to explore the country of Cuba while learning from local musicians on how to play traditional cuban music. The result: a new track straight from the streets of Havana.
For the first time today, I played a yoga class in San Diego. I was invited by my good friend Sarah Ellis who is an amazing yoga instructor at Core Power Yoga. It was such a great experience and something truly unique. Unlike most concerts where I am front and center, the yoga class allowed me to be a part of everyone's practice. Some of the songs I didn't even finish because I didn't think they fit with the vibe of the class, while others went an extra minute or two without lyrics because I could feel that it was enhancing everyones experience.
I never thought about playing in Yoga Studios before, but after today I think it may be a new part of my musical routine. If you know of any studios that would be interested in having me perform, please shoot me an email.
Hey friends, I just released my fourth music video single, Heat of Alabama, from my debut album Umami. The song was recorded in at the Brewery Recording Studio in Brooklyn, NY. Heat of Alabama is a beauty mix of country story telling and hip hop beats which lyrically take place at the Gulf Shore.
The music video was shot at the Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, AL during the 2015 and 2016 events. I am also an advocate for the Buena Onda company (www.thebuenaonda.com) which uses social enterprise to bring love, community ties, and empowerment to the Wayuu People of Colombia. In the video you can see a large assortment of Wayuu products, plus you get a sneak peek on what it takes to run a merchandise booth at a festival. Buena Onda actually sold at over 9 major music festivals across the USA this year so this video was a perfect opportunity to spotlight the brand.
I want to give a special thanks to Trey Monaghan, Erin Kalkbrenner, Annette Küeser, Cole Kalkbrenner, William Wood Krohn, Maddy Rose, Emmy German, Marquest Meeks, Walker Daniel, Alex Eggleston, Sydney Eggleston, Devon Eggleston, Taylor Elizabeth, Chris Hess, Matthew Taylor, Charlene Cullins, Colin Lee, Shana Stone, Falan Guy, and Julia Pisano for all of the help and great memories at the Hangout Festival.
So now, sit back and enjoy my newest song: Heat of Alabama.
It was a long day traveling to Hamburg, mostly because I spent the morning the Cologne hospital figuring out what to do about my fractured arm. The doctor told me I would need some time to heal, but I could play the guitar if it didn't hurt. Over the past couple of weeks I have taken a time out from playing, however once I got to Hamburg things changed.
I met up with a friend Sherija who lives in Hamburg. I originally met Sherija in Morocco and last saw her in August at the family reunion tour in Portugal. This was so great to finally see her in her natural environment. One of my favorite things in life is visiting friends in their home towns. You get a trip into their world and get to see their town and country through their eyes. Not only is this a learning experience, but you get to feel like a local in some way.
As soon as I arrived Sherija suggested that we head to an open mic. I knew this would be dangerous because I was already itching to play but my arm was still hurting. When we arrived the door guy told us it would be 5 euros to enter, but if we were playing it would be free. I said I would take a peek in the club and see if I would be up to playing. When I walked in I was blown away by the set up. There were over 70 people in the room and there was so much energy. This place doubled as a techno club on the weekends so it was a very trendy atmosphere. There were musicians, comedians, and a couple of poets. I asked one of the other performers if I could borrow his guitar and he was more than happy to help me out.
As the host called my name, which he thought was hilarious because apparently Kevin is not a popular name in Germany. In fact, Kevin is known for being an annoying person who is not educated. This has been an ongoing joke for me in Germany. It also doesn't help that I fell off a bike and broke my arm for no reason. So as I walked up to the stage a little unsure how my arm would hold up and also feeling like I had something to prove, I could feel the adrenaline starting to pump in my veins. I began to pick the first few notes of the song and I knew it was going to be a great set. After I finished, I really felt well received. People seemed to enjoy both of my songs Picture of Love and Umami. It even caused me to play a different version of Umami because I couldn't strum.
The next day, I met up with another friend from Colombia who I had not seen in a couple of years. In fact, we had not met up since the Bonnaroo festival in Manchester, TN in 2014. It is always great to meet up with people in another country and during another time period in life! Daniella and her boyfriend took me to a little Jazz club called the Colton Club. I would highly suggest anyone to try out this club especially if you like swing and jazz music!
I wish I had a better story to tell, like I saved a baby from a burning building while avoiding an angry mob who wanted to kidnap the child, but unfortunately that is not how I broke my arm. On the contrary, I was happily riding a bicycle down the street and fell off it. There were no potholes or obstacles in my way, and I was completely sober. Needless to say, I haven't grown out of being Clumsy. Luckily, I was with my good friend Franz who helped me find the hospital and the care that I needed.
Franz and I met back in High School in the United States. He was on an exchange program and somehow ended up at North Platte High School. It has been years since I saw him last, so I was really excited to catch up in Leipzig.
Of course, when Franz and I get together there is bound to be an injury. For example, there was the time back in North Platte when I took him out wake boarding and he hit his head on the board. We rushed him to the emergency room only to find out that an adult had to sign off on his medical care, good thing my father was in the neighborhood and stopped by the hospital. A few moments later in the operation room, Tim passed out from watching the doctors put stitches in Franz's head. I was in a fit of laughter as the doctor told me to push the button for the nurses to come in the room to help tim. At that moment Franz looked over at me and said "What is going on today?"
Now here we were over ten years later and Franz is signing off on my care, well he didn't sign off but he did have to translate. After spending 4 hours in the hospital, the doctor told me I should go home without a cast. He told me I should keep moving the arm and that the fracture would heal in six weeks. Six weeks! How will I continue playing music?
Thankfully for me, Franz and his roommates are awesome! They cooked for me and helped me get through life with only the usage of one arm. I have to give a special shout out to Sam here for all the wonderful cooking. I may have starved to death if they had not of been so kind. However, as they pointed out they really didn't have a choice...
After months of working on this music video I’m happy to say it is complete. I am so excited to finally release it. I want to thank everyone who helped me including Andrew Krause AKA D.R.U. the legend who played lead guitar and help bring this song into fruition. Thank you Molly Varner and Molly Grunewald for your videoing skills and help with Buena Onda. David Krause, thank you for your kladiescope effects and editing. Also thank you to the Electric Forest pixies, the weird dancing bunny, the hoola hooper, Crow, and all the random electric forest family. You guys all rock!
So sit back and enjoy this video. Please tell me what you think! If you like it please share it or add the song to your play list on spotify.
So do you guys remember Marie, well she hooked me up with an awesome show in Bottrop, Germany. This small german city put on the coolest night of culture and arts for the youth of the city. I was so blessed to have been a part of it and I really had an amazing time. I showed up around 8 PM and I saw a bunch of amazing musicians perform including Marie Kind Music and Sven Jäger of Acoustica.
Please check out the videos below including the one from my friend at Acoustica.
Cologne is not a beautiful city. This is due the bombings from the 262 air raids during World War II. It is a relatively modern European city with unexciting architectural design. However, I thought Cologne was the bomb, pun intended. It was a young city filled with rowdy bars and restaurants, the people where so cool and friendly, and the river and cathedral were actually beautiful. My friend Denise, who I met in Morocco, was the perfect tour guide and knew all the hidden spots.
On Saturday, during the day Denise and I went downtown to perform on the street, but I ran into one small issue: there were already way to many buskers. It seems that Cologne has been over run by street performers. I counted ten on the few blocks that I walked down. I tried to play a couple of songs but since I forgot my mic stand and the crowds were huge not to mention I was already in a competitive situation, I decided to give up after two songs. In fact it is the first time this trip I did not make any money. Apparently after talking to one of the musicians there are certain rules in Cologne. First of all, you can not use amplification, but EVERYONE was using amplification, typical buskers. The second rule was that you must start your show on the hour ending half past the hour. Besides that feel free to play!
Aachen is a beautiful German city located right across the border from the Netherlands. It is known for its large university and for being the home of Charles the Great in the Middle Ages who used Aachen as his imperial city. So I thought: why not come to the home of the King of the Franks and busk right in front of the Aachen Rathaus?
Upon arriving in the city, I met up with a friend of mine, Max, who showed me around. It was a cheery town that radiated a feeling of youthfulness and excitement, most likely due to the large university. I met some of Max’s friends and we enjoyed a night of bar hopping, music, and a late night jam session in a bands studio rehearsal room. Of course, I enjoyed my food of shwarma and the famous currywurst, which was actually just a sausage in ketchup and french fries.
The next day I took off to play right in front of the Aachen Rathaus, which sits on the old castle of Charles the Great. After setting up and playing my first song, Picture of Love off my new album, I quickly realized how amazing the acoustics were. It seems like these old squares were designed just for me. Even with a small little amplifier the sound like you are in a concert hall. Of course, my sound engineering success was short lived because the police showed up and told me to shut it down. Apparently in Aachen you need a license to play on the street, you are not allowed to use amplification, and finally you can never play in front of the Aachen Rathaus. I guess I broke three rules all at once. However, the cops were really friendly and also explained to me where I should get a license.
All in all, Aachen is an awesome town that I would highly suggest visiting. And if you are looking to busk here be sure to stop off at the green building across from the main train station. For only 5 euros you can have a week long busking pass.
Sometimes it is important to take a break. Over the past year, I feel like I have been running from town to town, state to state, and even country to country playing music and supporting the Buena Onda. The truth is I have loved every minute of it, but I also believe at some point you need to take a break and clear the mind.
Luckily for me, one of the coolest dudes I know happens to live in Etel, France. Mickaël and I met in El tunco, El Salvador a few years ago and we have stayed in touch since, always planning to meet for a surf trip "one day." That day finally came, when I decided to go to France on a surf trip. I decided I would be searching for shows and gigs if it was possible, but this week would be about surfing and writing as much good music as I could. I can tell you now it was a complete success. Not only were the waves pumping, but there was no wind and Mickael knew where to find all the firing spots.
For five days, I did nothing but eat, sleep, write, and surf. It was amazing, just like our days in El Salvador. All that is left to do is get this new material into the studio. You may be hearing some french on my upcoming album too!
Well the car broke down, so much for that idea. John and I were stranded in Castro Urdiales. We were almost to Bilbao when the clutch completely gave out. There was no power and so I had to steer the car as we rolled backwards down the exit ramp. Luckily, there was a fire station at the bottom of the ramp and we rolled right into there driveway.
After examining the car we came to the conclusion we were going to need seem help, so I went and knocked on the door to the firehouse. I was greeted by a fire fighter who helped us call the police. When the police showed up there was nothing they could, expect help us push the car across the street and give us the number to an insurance company in Spain. This was no help as I soon found out that the car had not been registered into my name. After speaking with the local mechanic and wasting two days sitting around Castro Urdiales, I through my keys under the right wheel and hopped on a push.
With my hopes slightly beaten and the reality of the situation sinking in, I tried to come up with a new plan. John and I would go to Bilbao and I would wait to see if Xachi could help me get in touch with the original owners. I wasn't going to let this situation put a damper on the trip, so I decided to take my mind off the current situation by exploring Bilboa. Luckily, for us our buddy Pedro had a friend, Gabriella, Bilbao. So we called her up and long and behold she lived right across the street from our hostel!
I spent the next couple of days hanging out with Gabriela, since John had to head back to London. She was a hospital, funny, and extremely charming girl, who loved living in Bilboa and showing off all the sights and attractions. Bilbao is a beautiful city and the food is phenomenal. Each little cafe has it's own type of food which is a called a pincho or pintxo, as they would say in Basque country. These little delectables became my staple in Bilbao. Each cafe has their own menu but they all follow the same pattern: the pintxos are made prior to the customers arrival and they are ready to go as soon as you walk to the establishment. This means you need to get there early or they will run out of all the good ones and you will be out of luck!
After spending a couple of great days at the beach and enjoying way to many pintxos and cervezas, I was anxious to play some music. Gabriela told me that she had not seen any street musicians so she didn't really know if it was a "thing" in Bilbao, but she said she would be happy to join me on my musical quest.
We headed downtown to the riverside and there I began to play for over 2 hours. It was a great set mostly because two young boys Marcus and Sasha were mesmorised by my songs. They literally watched me for the entire two hours, while asking Gabriela a million and one questions. Who is he? Where is he from? When did he learn to play? Did he write the songs? I couldn't hear these questions and could only smile at Gabriela who had to patiently answer each question.
When I finally wrapped up my set the boys joined me for a photo and then had a bunch of questions for me. Including: Why didn't I have a dog? I guess in Europe owning a dog and being a street performer go hand in hand. I struggle to take care of myself, I don't know how a dog would fit into the equation. It's not that I don't want a dog, I just can't be bothered taking care of one. I think I will wait until I have kids, at least then I will have some other helping hands. Either way, I thought it was the funniest questions/suggestions I had ever heard.
Anyway, the boys were brothers and they were 9 and 11 years old. I gave them a cd and Marcus kissed the cd and couldn't stop thanking me. This was such a meaningful experience because I could see that I had true fans. Music isn't about making money or being famous, it is about sharing your art with people. The hope is that you can inspire them in some way or help them to enjoy a certain moment in time or just to bring some entertainment a situation. I could see that I had accomplished all three for the boys and I encouraged them to start playing and practicing. Who knows: maybe some day we will be listening to Marcus and Shasha the brother duo from Bilboa.
The next morning I decided it was time to leave Bilbao. I finally gave up on the old car and bought a ticket to Nantes, France. My days in Spain were over and it was time to get to France where the waves are waiting.
So I fell in love today, her name is Porto, but I call her Oporto...
Porto is the second largest city in Portugal and is one of the oldest European centers. Of course it is know for it's Port Wine, which is world renowned, but it really has so much more to offer. The fast collection of parks along the Douro river add the relaxed charm of the city. There are always people hanging around outside in different cafes and bars and the narrow streets are straight out of a European travel pamphlet. It is really something to be admired.
I had such a great experience here. First off, I made friends with Xachi, who was the most hospitality host and tour guide. He introduced me to his friends, to me to a music studio, and gave me tips on how to enjoy Porto. The best part was his bass skills. We immediately hit it of once we started jamming. He had a unique style and there was so much energy in his technique. I could see why his band was gaining traction in the Porto music scene.
One night we went to an abandoned shopping mall complex that had been taken over by musicians and artists. Each room had been converted into some kind of studio whether it was art or music. Xachi took me to meet his buddy and we all started jamming even switching between instruments. Lets just say my drumming skills could use some work, but we were in the zone and it didn't matter.
The next day I busked in the city center at Fonte dos Leões. It was a beautiful square but unfortunately it was too large and the sound was lost. I was a little disappointed but I knew there had to be some better places to go, so I decided to take a break.
I met up with John my South African compadre and we hit the streets to explore and also look for batteries for my amplifier. Of course, the tour ended at the Porto Wine Houses and we signed up for a tour at the Sandeman Winery, so we could be cultured on the historical Porto. The tour was great and at the end we ended sipping on port by the side of the river with Danielle and Christine, two american girls from New York. These are some of my favorite moments traveling. I love when you meet knew people and have good conversation, while doing something that is so simple yet at the same moment so unique and foreign because of your location and feelings. This is what it feels like to sip wine on the river side in Porto.
On the walk home I finally found the perfect busking location. It was on a strip of sidewalk right outside all the little fancy restaurants right on the Douro River. If you are a busker you can find this spot by walking along the river towards the Ponte Luís I bridge. So I ran back to Xachi apartment and grabbed my amp, guitar, and mic, it was time to busk.
When I showed back up to my gem of a location, I came to find that I wasn't the first person to have this idea. In fact, there were jugglers and people dress up as statues and some low rate Russian cover band playing at one of the cafes. I was about to give up, but I thought it was best to see how long they stuck around. Eventually the street performers trickled away and I was alone to own the street. People were really digging my sound and it was a fun set. It also helped that John, Christine, and Danielle came to watch me as well. I always enjoy having a built in fan group.
All in all, Porto is a spectacular city. It is warm and friendly and there is always something to do. Make sure you rest up before visiting because the Portuguese are known to stay up until all hours of the night, and trust me you will too.
The gang and I arrived in Lisbon late tonight and we were in the mood for a party. So after showering and getting ready we hit the rowdy streets of Lisbon. Of course I had a different goal in mind from the rest of the group. I knew that on this Saturday night, Lisbon would be the perfect setting for a street show.
As the group moved closer to the clubs in town I searched for the best corner to set up my equipment. I choose a spot at the end of the Cais do Sodré street and began to play. It was awesome! The energy in this place was pumping and it surely helped that all my friends were there. Massimo played the guitar case, which you would have thought was a complete trap set the way his hands kept rhythm. And then Aurelio joined in with a modern day twist on flamenco clapping. Meanwhile people sang along and danced in the streets. It was so much fun.
I played a couple of originals including Umami from my album. I was also approached by a group who was doing a remote year, and they requested all kinds of 90s hits including Semi Charmed Life, Santeria, and Santa Monica.
All in all it was a great evening of music and fun. The gang wanted to continue into a club at 4:45 am, but after playing for a couple of hours I was spent and headed back to the hostel.
The following day, everyone woke up late, most likely because they came home at 9:00 am. Oh Portugal! It was slow moving, but evidentially everyone decided to go and visit the Miradouro de Santa Catarina which is a beautiful park known by the locals as Adamastor. On the left side of this park is a cool little cafe / bar and in the center everyone is sitting around listening to live music.
When we arrived there was already a musician from Brazil playing his music. He let me play one song while he took a break and I chose "Picture of Love." I wanted to keep playing but I had to wait my turn. Unfortunately what I did not know is that busking in this park is serious and territorial. While I sat and listened for over two hours another Brazilian started setting up and the first one told me he was next. There was nothing I could do, especially because at this point I believed them both to be locals.
After 5 hours of music I finally got the opportunity to play. It was well worth the wait. There was over a 100 people in this park and my built in fan base was there (thanks guys!). I played for about 1 1/2 hours and I really got a great response. However, my amp did have some issues. I think the park was just two large and the sound was lost in the wind. As a busker you are always learning how to tune in your equipment based on your surroundings. I guess this was just another learning lesson!
So in conclusion if you are looking for a great city to busk in, I would highly suggest Lisbon! It also has some amazing people and sites to see!
The second single to come off Kevin Kennedy's debut album is L.A. Skies. Shot in Los Angeles by De'Andre Bush and directed by Kevin Kennedy iii. The music video stars Lauren Merar and Kennedy. Be sure to check out this new video and if you like it you can purchase the album on https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/umami/id1085921342.