Posted at 2019-08-21
Posted at 2019-08-21
Hello again, my fans and friends!
I constantly surprise myself with how busy I get these days. Get a load of this: I've just finished recording and mastering a new one-off party song; it's called "Beer and Wine." It's just goofy fun. I've also finished recording an ambient collaboration with Walter Whitney (known for his participation in such past experimental entities as Delay Tactics) to be called "Lost In Familiar Territory." It awaits only some minor tweaks, and then the mastering process. I will likely post a track from it here in the next month. Meanwhile, I'm preparing my next song-oriented album and can't wait to get in the studio again to dive into that. The songs for this record are among the most personally meaningful I have ever written. If all that weren't enough, I am adding "producer" to my list of credits with an album of songs recorded by my Songwriting students at St. Louis Community College at Meramec. They are a remarkable bunch, mostly beginners or budding artists who've not yet shared their efforts in public. These amazing individuals have really shown their understanding of what a song can be, emotionally and musically. The album will be called "Time To Write a Song," fittingly. There will be a limited number of copies made, but I'll announce official information when we are done. This has truly been one of the most gratifying projects I've ever been involved with! I just LOVE it when angsty creative types can push through the many pitfalls and scary obstacles and bring their art to fruition. It has never been more meaningful to do that sort of thing than RIGHT NOW.
I've been going through some of my older recordings, also, seeing what might be suitable to post for you guys. I'm enjoying some early tracks that I did not deem worthy of sharing before, but time has made me appreciate them a lot more lately. So stay tuned. As for "Beer and Wine," it will be available for download real soon. I may post it for streaming for a week free, shortly. Watch this space. Also in the cards: I am probably going to redesign or alter my website in some manner, soon as I figure out the logistics. I would really like to hear from any of you who had a certain experience with one of my songs or have thoughts to express about my music in general. I will use some of these quotes in promotional material and on the new site. You can send me a message through N1M or email me personally at kevinarenick@link. I'm grateful to anyone who feels they have something to share. Finally, if you are a Neil Young fan, my Neil tribute band Shakey Deal has gotten more and more attention. One of our best shows EVER was at the Jacoby Arts Center in Alton, IL in July. We really showed the power of our band. We have shows coming up on September 21 at Naked Vine in Chesterfield, MO and another on Oct. 19 at the Pub House Brewing Company in St. James, MO. And something is in the works for November, to be announced. If you like what I do and you also like the genius music of Mr. Young, you should definitely enjoy Shakey Deal! We have a killer lineup right now!
If you are in the St. Louis area, come see me play in a trio with Mark Arnold and Denise Chappell on Sat., Aug. 24 at the Irish Corner Bar at the intersection of Lemp and Cherokee. We have one heck of a show planned. After that except for a loose date or two I will be concentrating on recording and rehearsing until the next Shakey Deal concert. By the way, I highly recommend that y'all go see the David Crosby documentary "Remember My Name." It is unflinchingly honest and hard-hitting, and since CSNY were among my most influential songwriting heroes, this film affected me on multiple levels. It shows you almost every potential pitfall you can encounter on the road to artistic fame and it also depicts a rock legend who has somehow survived multiple traumas to outlive many of his contemporaries. Unforgettable stuff. See you all again real soon. link. Keep on rockin' in the freak world! That's what it feels like we are living in right now.
Truth and singing birds...
Posted at 2019-06-05
Posted at 2019-06-05
Hello good people!
Time sure gets away from me; this is only my second newsletter this year! It's nuts, really. I have been busy as usual, writing like mad (have a couple of new songs almost done, one of them is titled "Awkward"), performing shows, working on my book and tending to all sorts of business. My song "Sad Song #217" was supposedly chosen for a TV project, but I am waiting for the official word/contract on that and holding the excitement in check. Also, we will wrap up the recording of "Beer and Wine" shortly, my first "party song." I'll give you guys a sneak peek as soon as possible. Upcoming shows if you are in the St. Louis area include a Neil Young tribute show (my band for that purpose is called SHAKEY DEAL) at Naked Vine in Chesterfield on Sat., June 15 at 8pm, an appearance in Waterloo, IL at Vintage Wine Bar on June 22, 5-8 pm; a solo appearance as part of Acoustic Night at Imperial Pub & Club in Granite City, IL on June 27, a big rocking "Kevin Renick Band" appearance at OakGlenn Winery in Hermann, MO from 6-10pm on July 13, and then a rare theatre show for Shakey Deal on July 19 at the Jacoby Theatre in Alton, IL. Got my hands full for a while. Mostly that's a good thing for a musician! By the way, if you are interested in booking me or Shakey Deal in your town, please contact Trish Cook at Everywhere An Entertainer, LLC. It might be easier than you think. I can be had! :-) Facebook
If you're like me, you wonder what professional musicians listen to in their fleeting moments of spare time. Well, I give plenty of playtime to Brian Eno and Neil Young, of course. But my actual favorite band, the group I listen to more than anyone else, is a Norwegian girl group called Ephemera. It wouldn't be accurate to merely say I LIKE this band. I REVERE them, in fact. I regard them as creators of a sound that is so melodically bright and soothing, so rapturous, that it literally alters my view of reality. I can be in the worst mood imaginable, and if I listen to Ephemera, I soon feel better. I'm not likely to get in the habit of promoting other artists here, but for this gifted Nordic trio I will happily make an exception. Here's a link to the official music video of their song "On the Surface": YouTube
That song is from their album MONOLOVE, which I recently decided is my favorite album of all time. Yes, that's how much I love it. Ephemera have had an unusual career trajectory. They were super active in Norway from 2000-2005, releasing four killer records in that time, winning various awards and conquering the hearts of fans everywhere. Then they simply vanished for 14 years. They were doing normal things like raising families, but there was no particular reason to think they'd be back. And yet they finally ARE in 2019, with a killer new single called "Magic." A great word to describe this transcendent trio. Check them out if you like lush, beautiful, female-driven pop music. I launched my own discussion group for them on Facebook. THAT's fan-ship, right?
You know, a lot of people don't buy CDs anymore. I personally love them, especially for road trips, but I'm constantly told there are way more popular methods of listening, especially for "younger" folks. But there's just something about having an object you can hold and look at, with a COVER illustration, the artist's image, lyrics and credits, that I will always cherish. I'm proud to be old school. And I'm glad there are still some record stores around where I can obtain these things! I've got a handful of them out under my own name, and I'll sure be grateful to any of you who purchase them. As an experiment, I want to offer all five of my released CDs to the first 5 people who write to me, for only $25. THAT is a bargain. You can either send a check made out to me, to PO Box 31785, Des Peres, MO 63131, or pay via Paypal, to: kevinrenickbusiness@link. Add the words "Ambient Lift" to your order, and you will also get a free copy of my upcoming ambient collaboration "Lost In Familiar Territory." The thing has been in the works for two years. We are just trying to wrap it up. Everything takes TIME. You all know that, right?
I'll close with my non-musical message to everyone, really. Be KIND to each other out there! Spread love, friendship and compassion. There is too much divisiveness, ignorance and hate in the world right now. It pains my heart. Remember the chorus of that classic old Youngbloods song? "Come on, people now/Smile on your brother/Everybody get together, try to love one another right now." What could possibly be the down side?
Posted at 2019-01-21
Posted at 2019-01-21
A very Happy 2019, everyone! Can you BELIEVE the 20-teens are almost over? I sure can't. I just don't know where the heck the time goes. The passing of time is a primary theme of my ongoing autobiography, "A Life Up In The Air." I am deep into it now, and I'll have stories to tell from every phase of my life: my childhood and teen years, my memorable stint as a record store manager during the classic rock era, my passion for music journalism for umpteen years, and of course my long roller-coaster ride trying to make it as a professional musician, with one end of the spectrum being summer nights sitting on my car trying to impress a girl by playing a new song I just wrote on my guitar, and the other end of the spectrum being the completely unlikely Up In The Air saga, which found me jetting to Japan with actress Anna Kendrick to promote that multi-layered, Oscar-nominated film to a Japanese audience that wanted to mostly ask questions about the serious unemployment situation in America. Believe it or not, 2019 marks the 10th Anniversary of UITA's initial release! The surreal nature of my whole artistic journey is what made me finally decide I just HAD to write a book. I'm enjoying the process very much.
I recently did a photoshoot and musical performance at Artist United Network here in St. Louis, and an interview will happen in the next couple of weeks to go along with those. I'll post a link when it's all ready. The new photo I included here was taken by Dustin Diggs, and I thank both him and Daisy Chain at AUN for facilitating this wonderful experience. What a blast! I said a couple of months ago that I am hoping to release a new single in spring. We've been working at Red Pill Studio on a fun, light-hearted song called "Beer and Wine." But I'll be back working on my more introspective new material this summer. The working title of my next record is "Diary of a Mad Time Traveler." It goes along with the nostalgic nature of my new batch of songs, which include titles such as "The Horse On the Old Brown Card," "Back When Things Mattered" (an ode to the good old days of listening to vinyl records), "My Transitional Blues" and many more. I'll be posting updates of course, but there is a long way to go on the project.
In times as chaotic and unpredictable as these, we need music and art more than ever. I'd go crazy if I didn't have something to say, something I felt I could contribute to the dialogue about what life should be. I can hardly wait to get new songs out there. And I know I say this every time, but I encourage y'all to write to me and share your feelings about my music or any issue regarding life in general. I try to answer every message I get. And I truly appreciate everyone who listens and tells me they appreciate my music. Keep it up! It's YOU guys who keep me going more than anything else! Oh, and congratulations to two of my favorite groups for getting chosen for this year's crop of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees. That would be Radiohead and Roxy Music. The latter included my hero, Brian Eno, for their first two albums. Eno is without doubt the most influential musician and thinker of my creative life, and there will be an entire chapter on him in my book. See you all next time, folks...and may your new year unfold in grand style!
Posted at 2018-10-29
Posted at 2018-10-29
Happy Autumn, my dear fans and friends!
It has been a while since I posted; I get so busy sometimes that I totally lose track of the weeks passing by. But I can promise that many exciting things are in the works for the new year! First up, the ambient album I've been collaborating on with Walter Whitney is almost finished. We have a few little things to tinker with, but this record should come out by March, I think. It's called "Lost In Familiar Territory." I'm also remixing and planning to release what I think is one of my best songs, "Call It, Friend-o." The tune was inspired by the movie NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, and I really think you're gonna like it. I'll probably pair it with a new party song called "Beer and Wine." Look for this early in the new year. I also am mapping out my next proper album...I already have 14 songs ready to start recording. This is liable to be one of my most commercial and straightforward recordings, but with all the angst and melancholy you've come to expect from me! :-) Tunes that will be on there for sure include "Early Morning Birds," "The Horse on the Old Brown Card," "Far Away Angels" and many more. Stay tuned for updates as I plan studio time for late winter and spring. I'm also hard at work on my memoir, which I am having a lot of fun writing. It'll be titled A Life Up In The Air: The Music, Memories and "Maybes" of a Driven Singer/Songwriter. I can't guess at a finish date for this project...likely the year 2020 if all goes well.
I want to say that we are all caught up in the chaos of the times in America right now. No one has any easy answers. But...we should be DECENT to each other always, and recognize our universal rights. I intend for my music to be an ongoing soundtrack for reality, self reflection and the need for caring and compassion. We all have challenging lives. Let's find a way to co-exist, love one another and seek out the magic that is out there, waiting for us to notice it. Meanwhile, don't forget that every single one of you matters to me. I cherish your comments, your encouragement, and when possible, your friendship. And I wish you all the very best as this 2018 holiday season gets under way. Stay safe, and take care, everyone! Don't hesitate to drop me a line!
link. I have added a few more older songs to my playlist!
Posted at 2018-07-24
Posted at 2018-07-24
I have been busier than ever this summer, folks. Besides playing shows pretty regularly, I have been doing some writing (including creating a booklet about one of my favorite bands, the Norwegian girl trio Ephemera) and teaching a singing course at St. Louis Community College. I'm also happy to report that I am back in the studio working on a couple of fun songs for release later on. One of them is a simple, sing-along ode to drinking called "Beer and Wine." This tune seems to get people going when I play it at wineries and elsewhere, so I thought I should go ahead and record it. It's certainly lighter in "spirit" than most of my other songs. The second tune planned for a session is just called "Working Blues." It has a fascinating history that I'll share later on. Upcoming shows for me include duo gigs with Denise Chappell on Aug. 3 (EdgeWild Restaurant and Winery in Chesterfield at 5 pm) and Aug. 17 (at Stone Spiral Coffeehouse in Maplewood, 8 pm); a trio show with Denise and Mark Arnold at the Creve Coeur Lakehouse on Aug. 10 from 7-10 pm (that place is always a delight to play at); an appearance at OakGlenn Winery in Hermann on Sat., Aug. 11 at 2 pm; and a rockin' show with Shakey Deal, my Neil Young tribute band, at the Naked Vine in Chesterfield, Sat., Aug. 25 from 8-11 pm. I'm so lucky that I get to play with fun, talented musicians!
I had the pleasure of seeing one of my main heroes, Neil Young, in concert recently. What an incredible show he did, just solo! Neil is always riveting when you see him live, and his show at the Fox was no exception. If you want to read my review, you can find it here: link I was amazed that he did one of my favorite songs from HARVEST, "There's a World." Never caught that one live before. And the songs "Love and War" and "Peaceful Valley Boulevard" were mesmerizing. The audience sat spellbound for those two gems. Don't miss Neil live if you see he is coming to your town. And if he isn't, come see my band Shakey Deal...we try to be the next best thing to Neil Young!
By the way, folks, I am looking for a few people to write little testimonials or "snippets" about my music, either in general or about specific songs that have touched you. Some of these will be included in a memoir I am writing. The first three people who write something for me that I can use, will get a gift...it could either be an autographed photo, a CD or the like. You can message me here or write me directly at kevinarenick@link. I just want your honest thoughts and feelings, about how the music has affected you. Just a few sentences is fine! :-) I hope to release a compilation of some sort this fall. I just don't know yet if it will come together in time, but I'm hopefull. I have some unreleased songs I would like to get on there. I also want to mention that I am available for House Concerts. I love doing these, and I will fit any budget. You can book me as a duo, trio or the full Shakey Deal band. Just get in touch, and it should be pretty easy to work out a date. I am at home in OTHER homes, so to speak, and promise to give you an entertaining show you won't forget! Just let me know your preferences.
My best to all my fans out there...I am approaching the 1000 subscriber mark, and I'll have to do something extra special for that person when the time comes. Meanwhile, everyone enjoy the rest of your summer. Please stay safe...I live in the state where that horrible boating disaster happened, and it's unthinkable that such things can happen. So be smart and careful, and as always be KIND to each other. That's what the world needs! Blessed be...
NumberOneMusic © 2003—2019
Kevin promo pic
Kevin closeup pic
Kevin at the Ivory Theatre 2-28
Kevin AA Japan pic
Kevin and the Springfield Boys at the Flea
Kevin at Chapel 6
Kevin alone, beige hat
Kevin alone, beige hat 2
Kevin with guitar, by truck
Kevin, relaxed pose at winery, taken by Sue
Kevin at a winery
Kevin today, on Pascal show
Kevin at Innsbrook with guitar on deck
Kevin, Denise and Mark at the Muny
Kevin at Vintage Vinyl appearance
Kevin closeup at Sept. SD show
Kevin by firelight, with glass of wine
Kevin at SD show in Sept, solo pic
Clear The Way CD cover mockup 2a grey with blue
Kevin, HQ alternate clear photo from Tokyo in March 2010
Shakey Deal at DH, cool pic in red light
Shakey Deal Sept. show, another energetic fivesome
Kevin with cordless mic
Kevin at Innsbrook lake, cropped
Kevin and band foursome, Vintage Vinyl Jan 21
Kevin at Three Squirrels, relaxing
Kevin and Denise mostly, Vintage Vinyl
Kevin at Montelle Winery, pic taken by Sue, cropped
Kevin with Graham Nash, partner in the UITA closing credits
Kevin getting ready to autograph a CD for fan
Kevin and Ted at Soulard Art Gallery July 7
Kevin posing near rock wall and fall leaves at Laumeier
Kevin with cordless mic, cropped