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Tue, 06 Sept



Keith Kenny (USA) and The Zac Schulze Gang (UK)

We welcome the one man rock band that is Keith Kenny from America, who will be ably supported by The Zac Schulze Gang.

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Keith Kenny (USA) and The Zac Schulze Gang (UK)
Keith Kenny (USA) and The Zac Schulze Gang (UK)

Time & Location

06 Sept 2022, 20:00

Ramsgate, 19 Newington Rd, Ramsgate CT11 0QX, UK

About the event

New Jersey-based singer-songwriter and unabashed rock and roller Keith Kenny may not have originally set out to become a one-man band, but he damn  sure fulfills those expectations. Watching his father play folk guitar  as a child, he admittedly wasn’t that interested in playing music. That  began to change around age 11 when his dad gifted him a bartered  Japanese guitar (that may have been missing a string or two). Never  cohesive the band lineup, dating back to high school garage bands, Kenny  eventually started putting sounds together with drum machines.Kenny started simulating the sound of  a full band over a decade ago with his first shows at Asbury Park’s  iconic Stone Pony. He has since toured throughout the United States,  Europe, and Asia — sharing stages with Leon Russell, Ween, The Dean Ween  Group, John Butler Trio, Keller Williams, John Hammond Jr., New Riders  of the Purple Sage, etc.Now on his fifth release, Lifetime Ago Motel,  he’s going great guns with homespun vocals, percussive guitar  techniques, drum loops, and effects pedals — throwing in a customized  red vintage suitcase as a kick drum for good measure. Written over a  three-year period and recorded at Studio 303 in Monroe, New Jersey, Lifetime Ago Motel was self-produced by Kenny.Image courtesy of artist’s site While Kenny was on the road promoting  his last self-titled album — produced by 3-Grammy winner Justin Guip  (Hot Tuna’s touring drummer and sound engineer for Levon Helm) — he  ended up writing the bulk of Lifetime Ago Motel.  With dates that included opening up for The Dean Ween Group and a House  of Blues residency in Las Vegas, things weren’t exactly what they  seemed. Touring with Dean would hamstring his efforts at finding  happiness with life on the road. Kenny’s marriage to his new wife was  sadly ending because of time spent away, and he was barely breaking  even. The sadness he experienced while he was promoting the last album  is what you hear on this latest release: an innovative, passionately  charged musical artifact greater than the sum of its component parts.“For me, the album is an expression  of all the different feelings you go through during times of despair or  loss,” Kenny explains to me. “Change is inevitable, and this album is a  portrait of someone accepting change.”Conceptually, Lifetime Ago Motel is  actually more concise than Kenny’s previous albums. “I tend to jump  across genres and musical styles a bit, so I think sometimes it can be  challenging for me to find the thread that ties it all together. I was  going through a traumatic time in my life with a recent divorce and I  think that gave this album a lot more focus. Instrumentally, I was  experimenting with a lot more synth & electronic drum pad sounds  which were really fun textures to add to the one-man band sound.”Sometimes he wonders if he would have ever finished the record if not for the pandemic. “I  had been working on this thing in the background for the past three  years, between tours and other recording projects. So, when all of that  came to a sudden halt, I was able to focus in on each track and put the  finishing touches on it.” As far as the writing process goes, the  pandemic was somewhat stifling for Kenny. “I typically write from  experiences and often get the most inspired after seeing other musicians  play.  So, with life just completely slowing down, I didn’t feel too  inspired to write. I’ve heard that a lot of other artists have  experienced the same thing, so I’m trying not to be too hard on myself  about it. The music will come when the time is right.”Though he is a band of one, he had some special guests accompany him in his studio — chief among them being Sim Cain (of  Dean Ween Group, Rollins Band, etc.). Cain provided the backbeat for  such gems as “Waiting For The Kill” — vocally and instrumentally an  entrancing ode to all the bands of the ‘90s that mattered. “This  was our first collaboration together, and hopefully not the last! Sim  has an amazing musical sensibility and comes up with great parts that  really elevate the songs. I had sent him some demos of the tracks and he  came by the studio. I think we spent more time getting our drum sound  dialed in then we did working out the actual songs! He had all the parts  ready to go; it was awesome.”‘Lifetime Ago Motel’ front cover Kenny has had the last few years to  put things into perspective, the emotional growth contributing to the  evolution of his songwriting. “I  noticed during some of the harder times that I was anticipating the  worst outcome before I gave myself a chance. It’s really important to  give yourself the time you need to experience grief and to be OK with  it. I think it’s definitely changed my perspective to be more  open-minded and to consider other people’s experiences before being too  quick to judge.  I think my songwriting has matured and become more  transparent as to who I am. There is still so much more room to grow,  and always more to learn.”Each song has a special meaning to  him, but ultimately he wants the listener to extract their own. “I  remember finding out that Neil Young’s song ‘Long May You Run’ was about  a car. As genius as that is, it totally changed the way I listened to  it.“Some of the standout tracks for me  are ‘Burr’s Roach Jam’ — just because of how incredibly fun it was to  put together and jam on.” The song evolved out of Dean Ween’s weekly jam  nights at John & Peter’s in New Hope, Pennsylvania. There the two  built upon the riff each week, making it better each time.“I really poured my heart into  ‘You’ll Always Be That Star.’ I think the writing process of that one  was the most cathartic. Julie Myers did such a beautiful string  arrangement and I’m really happy with how it came out. ‘Little Lies’ is  another one of my favorites just from the production end of things. I  really stripped that one down and approached it more like a producer  than a guitar player and it’s a different sound for me.”As someone who has seen Ween – Live in Chicago countless  times, I just had to know what playing with them and working with Dean  was like. Ween completely overthrow the existing order of genres — a  band whose slow, sit-down song is as immersive an experience as a faster, intriguingly textured song.  They can play anything and everything, and extremely well. Like the  guys in Ween, Kenny holds fast the belief that music is music — running  the gamut of styles without trying too hard to be different.“Working  with Dean Ween has been an amazing honor and I’ve learned so much from  him,” Kenny enthuses. “My first real encounter with Deaner was during a  Moistboyz show at John & Peter’s. Their lead singer, Guy Heller,  organized this awesome rock festival called North by New Hope and I was  on the bill with them that night and was totally floored by their set.   It was just one of those unforgettable moments. The bar was on fire!   Both Guy and Deaner have been so supportive of my music and it’s given  me so much inspiration to keep working at it.“We started jamming every week at the  Invitational Jam and I started to dive into a lot more of Ween’s music,  and that was another huge inspiration. I love that they don’t get stuck  in one genre.  I think we all love so many different styles of music  that inevitably the music is going to portray that. A big part of what  fuels my ambition is discovering new music so getting turned onto the  whole Ween community has really been the greatest gift.“ ‘Burr’s Roach Jam’ was one of my  favorites to record on this album, and I think it has the best  backstory.  I was doing a west coast tour with my tour manager, Bob  O’Donnell, and he had an old friend named Burr who lived in Monterey,  CA. We ended up having a gig in Monterey and it was a bit of a  logistical nightmare for me. I had to rent a PA for the show and the  music store wanted like an $800 cash deposit for the thing. So, there  were all these hoops to jump through just to get the show going. But  anyway, Burr came out to support the show and offered us a place to  crash for the night. We ended up hanging down in his basement until the  wee hours of the night jamming and having a good ol’ time. That’s where I  came up with the riff and the first 15 seconds of the track is my phone  recording of Burr and I jamming on it with my tour manager rambling on  about roaches in the background! ‘You know the gig is ovaaah… The P.A.  is in the VAN!’ “As venues start to open back up for  live music, Kenny anticipates various outdoor and limited capacity  events. “I’m excited to get out and play these songs for REAL PEOPLE! As  far as touring goes, I still think it’s a ways off for me. Logistically  it is just too challenging right now with certain places having more  restrictions than others. I’m hoping to get back on the road soon. I  might have a new album to promote by that time.”Lifetime Ago Motel 

Also on the bill will be THE Zac Schulze Gang.

If you haven't had the opportunity to see these three young people, you are in for a treat. Gradually building up a following and plaudits with every performance. This is explosive,  exciting and skillful original British Blues, performed by three of the  finest young musicians currently working on the UK blues circuit.

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