Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Ken Gaines, January 8th, 2004

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A new breed of singer/songwriter is emerging in the U.S. today and Ken Gaines is one of the most talented and prolific. He has worked hard to become a powerful and poetic writer and a seasoned, dynamic performer. A live concert with him is an evening of songs about all of us as human beings; our hopes and dreams, our sacrifices and savagery, our lusts and lunacies. “In the course of a concert, I would like to make you laugh, and cry, and ultimately think about what we are, and what we may become. That is my passion.”

“I look for those venues that are surrounded by a spirit dedicated to quality. Those audiences are very precious to me.” His first release, No One Else, a live concert album, is an example of that spirit. In a review in Austin's Music City Texas, Betty Elders describes it as:

“…capturing the essence of a little known performing environment, the house concert, and of the folksinger—the story, the song and the listener’s response. A crystalline representation of Gaines’ supple voice, proficient guitar-playing, and thoughtfully crafted story-telling, with one voice, one guitar and one microphone. It creates both immediacy and you-are-there intimacy.”

His latest release, “Real Men” is more a product of the studio yet it too maintains the energy and edge of a live performance. 16 songs long the CD is a mini concert and an excellent example of what it’s like to hear Ken and his partner, Wayne Wilkerson live on your home stage.
Currently based near Houston, Ken is a respected force in the vital Texas music scene. He’s a regular participant at the Kerrville Folk Festival both onstage and as a host for one of the major “campfire” songcircles that are an integral part of Kerrville.

For the past five years he has been producing and hosting a songwriters’ series at Houston’s legendary Anderson Fair. These Thursday night productions have become a must for traveling artists from all over North America who are breaking into the Texas territory, as well as a way to hear many of Texas’ singer/songwriters. “Talk about a great way to keep your edge as a performer. I love these shows!” says Ken. “Each night is a different mix and allows me to bring out a different aspect of my performance as well as the opportunity to interact with so many talented people.”

Other musical endeavors include scoring the feature film Blue Days Lost and co-writing 2 children’s musicals, Noah & the Ark, and Journey of the Wise Men, both of which were produced by the Excellent Theater Company of Houston. During his 1995 Northeast tour, Ken made a stop in Vermont to record and donate his song, “Noah Nelson”, for inclusion in The Silverwolf Homeless Project, a well received cd dedicated to increasing awareness and funds to aid the homeless. This cd featured Ken along with Ani DiFranco, John Gorka, Greg Brown, Cheryl Wheeler, Jon Ims, Bill Morrissey, Patty Larkin and others.

Ken is a proud member of where you can find him and more than a hundred other Texas musicians.


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