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Kenny Wayne Shepherd on the cover of Max Ink for November 2018

Kenny Wayne Shepherd

An interview with Blues guitarist, Kenny Wayne Shepherd
by Mike Huberty
November 2018

Kenny Wayne Shepherd will be returning to the Barrymore in Madison on November 14th and he has a kinship with city that goes back a long time. “One of the radio stations there was one of the first, if not the first, in the entire country to add my first single into radio rotation.”, he says. “So I’ve always had a very special place in my heart for Madison just because they were out of the box one of the first cities outside of my hometown to support my music. Over the years we’ve always felt the love and support from the area. We connected with them a very long time ago and the connection has always stayed strong.”

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Kerosene Kites

Kerosene Kites

an interview with Beth Kille & Erik Kjelland
by Mike Huberty
December 2017

The two members that make up the KEROSENE KITES have been performing in the Madison music scene in various acts over the years, but the common thread with both of them is that they both write a ton of music as well as shifting from Rock to Country and Americana over their past few releases. So it makes perfect sense that songwriters Beth Kille and Erik Kjelland would team up to harness their copious creative powers together in a Folky Pop duo. Their first two releases were Christmas-themed, but now they’ve shed their Santa suits and their brand new album, Float Away, released on November 30th. They’ll also be performing around the area at Roxbury Tavern in Sauk City on December 14th and Fisher King Winery in Verona on the 15th. We talked with Erik and Beth about Float Away and their upcoming shows in the area.

MI: What inspired you guys to want to work together?
BETH:
We initially met at a songwriting workshop in 2011 but didn’t reconnect again until 2013 when I went to one of The Mascot Theory shows and was blown away. I chatted with Erik after the show who said we should try to cowrite sometime. Our first co-write was “I Am the Wrecking Ball” (one of the tracks on the new record) and we were both happy with it, so we just kept going. When we got together for another cowrite, we realized we both had a bunch of unfinished Christmas songs in our catalogs so we came up with the idea of doing a holiday album. Since our bands tend to slow down gig-wise in December, it was kind of nice to have something to get hyped up about in the winter. We also came up with the idea for Flannel Fest (a charity event with multiple Americana acts) at one of our early cowrite sessions. I think working on that project together made us realize that, not only do we have similar songwriting styles, but we also have similar work ethics. I often refer to Erik as my “brother from another mother” when I talk about our collaborations. He’s constantly sending me emails with answers to questions I am literally opening my email to ask him. I don’t know why we think so much alike, maybe because we’re both ambidextrous Pisces. Whatever it is, it’s really refreshing to work with a musician who is as talented, professional and kind as Erik who is also excellent at follow through.

ERIK: It can be a rare trait for creative persons to also have business-like drive behind their art. Beth and I both dream up crazy ideas, but we also have the tenacity to make sure those ideas actually happen. That’s what I admire most about Beth, and why I enjoy creating with her in KEROSENE KITES.

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Kicksville is a multi-influenced collective, largely ignored by the general public, but loved mostly by themselves and a select  - photo by Mystique Imagery

Kicksville


by Mack Dreyfuss
November 2008

The Presidential candidates have shared a motto during this election season: change. On Saturday, Nov. 15, America will have selected its leader, and a new era will be underway. Depending on your belief in what kind of change is needed, you may be looking to celebrate and/or protest. A perfect opportunity to do both awaits you at the Overture Center where a band called Kicksville is scheduled to perform. 

Kicksville can’t be constrained by the general conception of what is commonly referred to as a “band.” Kicksville is an entity. Their “Director of Propaganda” describes Kicksville as a political movement, a virtual community, and a musical collective. Madisonians and anyone else hell-bent on a free-thinking mind ought to be licking their chops.

Conrad St. Clair, the “Commissioner” of Kicksville, resists shackling attempts at categorization. “Politically we’re not Marxists, liberals, democrats or any of that.” Kicksville’s music also thwarts categorization. Constantly taking on new forms, collaborating with new artists (who gain “citizen” status), and utilizing new technology, Kicksville is an ever evolving creation that incorporates more than just sound. It assimilates ideas. St. Clair elaborates: “We’re teaming up with Amnesty International’s Small Places Tour 2008 to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations in 1948. It’s an honor. It’s something we feel strongly about.”

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Kicksville Live - photo by Mystique Imagery

Kicksville

An Interview with Music Collective, Kicksville
by Mike Huberty
August 2012

As a mixture of performance art, music, and live multimedia show, Madison’s KICKSVILLE began as a recording studio experiment that turned into something completely unexpected. Now a musicians collective with seventy-three different contributing members, KICKSVILLE is an artistic statement more than a band with a sound that can range from jamband-eqsue guitar solos to electronic grooves to Afro-drum beats and soaring vocals. In anticipation of their August 18th show at the Barrymore, we talked to original founders Conrad St. Clair and Mike Stehr, as well as vocalist Georgina McKee, artists Tone Deaf and Andy Ewen, drummer Lou Caldarola, and multi-instrumentalist Biff Blumfumgagnge.

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Kid Rock on the cover of Maximum Ink in December 1999 (oh no, the millenium bug!!) - photo by Paul Gargano

Kid Rock


by Paul Gargano
December 1999

If there’s a single artist that best signifies America as we bum-rush the millennium, it’s Kid Rock. He oozes white trash and he’s proud of it, blazing across the country and winning audiences over with a devilish charm and coy irreverence to anything that gets in the way of his pimpin’ ain’t easy persona. He’s as smooth as a frosty cold one, but kicks back with the sting of a warm malt liquor. He’s rock, he’s rap, he’s country, and he’s blues. He probably smokes bluegrass, and his stage show rolls with the rocking and rolling curves of female dancers and big-bottomed bootieful backdrops. He’s impishly sexy, yet slyly chauvinistic, something his female hordes of fans are ready to lap up with a tease me, please me grin and an enthusiastic baring of their chests to get backstage. Call it all what you will, but it’s rock ‘n’ roll, and it’s something mainstream music has been without for too damn long-Kid Rock’s a superstar, the likes of which American audiences haven’t had since ‘80s hair bands left women wanting to be sexy, and made it fashionable for men to be sexist. It’s all about living in the U.S. of A., and Kid Rock is here to make it fun again. “I just call it true, red-boned, American music. That’s exactly what it is,” says Rock of the rock ‘n’ roll hybrid that has pushed his Atlantic Records debut, Devil Without A Cause, beyond quadruple platinum status. That’s more than four million records sold, and counting. “It’s just American music to the fullest, right here. People like Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash did it in their day. My hang up was always with The Stones and The Who, and a lot of the bands like that who just mimic blues music and stuff, and are probably some of the greatest rock bands in the world-They are nothing compared to Lynyrd Skynyrd or Marshall Tucker. Those were the only bands that could get onstage and blow them off. So what I’m doing is just a hybrid of true American music, everything from blues to rock ‘n’ roll to metal to hip-hop to jazz. Anything that sounds good-rockabilly, country, anything-I put it in there.”

The results-while they can be confusing to fans of traditional, straight-forward styles that don’t span competing genres-are infectious in their musical energy and primal enthusiasm.

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Kill Devil Hill

Kill Devil Hill

Guitarist Mark Zavon – Strong Enough To Kill The Devil
by Sal Serio
August 2012

It’s a warm feeling when someone you know hits the big time. Like maybe how some of Hendrix’s band mates from the early 60s “chitlin’ circuit” felt when he joined the Experience, or how other New Jersey troubadours from the early 70s felt after “Born To Run”. I know I felt a certain sense of pride when I saw that guitar man Mark Zavon joined forces in the critically acclaimed Kill Devil Hill with Rex Brown (Pantera/Down) and Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath/Dio/Heaven & Hell). After seeing Mark bust his chops for years with the fusiony JRZ System, and later with ex-Ratt singer Stephen Pearcey, it was fulfilling to know that his wood shedding and determination has paid off. I had the opportunity to speak to Mark in advance of Kill Devil Hill’s debut Wisconsin performance, September 15th at Janesville’s Back Bar.

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Kill Junior

Kill Junior

A review of Kill Junior's new album, "Distract-O-Matic"
by Mike Huberty
May 2012

There’s no band in the Dairy State that’s making classic thrash metal like KILL JUNIOR.  “Distract-O-Matic” is a virtual ball slap, like being knocked in the bag by another, larger pierced bag. A big fat Hafada pierced scrot bump full of metal power. Imagine walking into a Megadeth concert with Glenn Danzig on vocals and then just when you’re getting all turgid about how fucking awesome that is, an anvil of heaviness drops on your head like you’re Wile E. Coyote and while you’re dazed, the Road Runner sprints up to you, meep meeps in your face, takes a quick piss on your pleather boots, does an Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom Mola Ram heart grab on you, makes sweet love to that heart, puts it back under your rib cage, and sews you up like Civil War battlefield surgery. That’s something like the experience of hearing “Distract-O-Matic” for the first time.

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