Kevn Kinney‘s music has always been lurking in the cobwebbed corners of your mind, even if you weren’t aware of it. After making the big move from Milwaukee to Atlanta back in the ’80s, he happened to be close to Athens, Ga., the birthplace of R.E.M., when that band was really catching fire. He caught the always-open ear of Peter Buck, who produced some material by Kinney’s band, Drivin N Cryin, which would latch onto a support slot for an R.E.M. tour. Fast forward to the new millennium, and Kinney has moved to Brooklyn, where he’s cut a fine solo record, A Good Country Mile, with Anton Fier and the Golden Palominos. The new disc somehow manages to fit Bob Dylan, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Van Morrison under the same tiny leopard-skin pill-box hat. Kinney will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with him.
Kinney: Feeling gravity’s pull
south central rain
talk about the passion
on and on
bring in the audience
as defining as satisfaction
keeper of the flame.
He’s probably mentored more bands
than most have seen,
played with them,
drove the van for them,
and settled the merch booth
not just then
but last week as well.
He’s never stopped
decades of music
Combining artists like recipes
he produced early drivin n’ cryin demos that included
honeysuckle blue and straight to hell
he wanted to produce the album but
Island didn’t recognize him as such
he created what has become
my career as a folk artist
producer and arranger of
recorded at John Keanes
in Athens across the street from Peter’s house
Where I wrote a lot of the songs
and between legs of an REM arena tour
we toured in the van
just Peter Microwave and Me
staying at the most Bukowski hotels we could find
we almost got shot in Richmond
walking in on a drug deal
Greyhound buses going on strike
trying to run us off the road.
We retaliated by throwing slices of cold pizza at him
it’s harder than you think getting the right
trajectory at 70 miles an hour.
We decided one night to set up the entire hotel room
out the window
recreating it in the parking lot,
pictures and all.
In Hoboken I was introduced to
who jumped in the van after the show
and spent the next year with us
in atlanta and Athens.
An absolutely wonderful man
but beyond what seems like this
rock and roll indulgence and hijinx
there was a
lot of reading
One of the most well read people I know
he rarely leaves the club
settling backstage to read
or learn more songs
or put the set list together …
Last month he produced a series of live concerts
in Todos Santos, Baja California
four nights a week at the hotel California
to raise funds for the Palapa Society,
an education charity.
Steve Wynn and Scott McCaughy’s baseball project the first week,
Robyn Hitchcock the next
and America’s finest garage rockers, the Minus Five, ending the run
I sat in the last few nights as did Chuck Prophet …
And Peter played either bass mandolin or guitar
for three hours every night,
And why do all these people gather round in a small Mexican town
to play not just a benefit show but a months worth?
Because we owe him …
And we are honored
to be in his debt
and … He still looks cool as shit!