Category Archives: Artist Interviews

Interviews with KC Cafe Radio Performing Artists

Kerry Patrick Clark: A Christmas Album 30 Years in the Making

Kerry Patrick ClarkWhile it may seem inevitable that every musician eventually puts out a Christmas album, it took Kerry Patrick Clark more than 30 years to finally get to his. In part, it’s because he didn’t want to merely record variations of the same traditional songs. Instead, he had to let time do what time does best—cultivate life experiences, deepen relationships, hone talent and develop courage.

These are just some of the things Kerry needed in order to create an album that reflects his own experience of Christmas, which is far more than merely exulting the joy and glory of the season. “I believe in Christmas and what it stands for—peace, grace, an experience of the sacred—but that doesn’t mean I’m not also cynical, sad, frustrated, angry and intolerant. Every time I heard a new Christmas album I thought, ‘why isn’t there one that addresses the challenges of the season or tells the birth story in maybe a more profound way?’ So I decided to do that. Combine the Christian and the secular, the cynical and the sacred.”

Kerry Patrick Clark: The Heart of Christmas album coverThe result is Kerry’s latest album, The Heart of Christmas, which is available now here. Recently, KC Cafe Radio Music Director Kathy Forste talked with Kerry via Skype. They reminisce about the traditions of Christmas music, the way in which this album embraces, yet differs from those traditions, and the challenging process of producing an album that was 30 years in the making.

Listen to the interview here:

Download the interview here: Interview: Kerry Patrick Clark, 11/22/16

Music by Kerry Patrick Clark on KC Cafe Radio:

Lauren Adams : From Troubadour to Somewhere Else

Lauren AdamsHow many ways are there for a performing songwriter to “make it?”

You could hit the Top 40, as Ed Sheeran did.

A big-name recording artist could cover one of your songs, like when country superstar Dierks Bentley made Travis Meadows‘ song “Riser” the title track of his last album.

For Americana singer-songwriter Lauren Adams, it was when she met a fan who had tattoo’ed a line from one of her songs onto her foot. “I’ve shared the stage with some pretty big names and even had my song in a major motion picture but this girl’s foot is easily the most satisfying milestone of my career,” she said with a chuckle.

That kind of audience appreciation is what keeps an artist going in the absence of big-time success. From her first guitar lesson as a Florida teenager to her arrival in Los Angeles to her new album, Somewhere Else, Adam’s has always kept going.

Adams’ musical journey began on the stage of the world-famous Troubadour in West Los Angeles with a performance that was so tentative, she was completely caught off guard by the waves of applause. “The response was so positive,” she said, “that I realized, ‘Hey, I could actually do this.’” That was summer of 1978, when the club still hosted its open-mic “Hoot Night,” where songwriters could get up and play a few.

Since that time, Adams has opened shows for Leon Russell in Fort Lauderdale and for Rita Coolidge in Southern California; Gigged regularly (some would say “relentlessly”) at clubs and festivals across California, Texas, Colorado, and in Nashville, Tennessee; Released three albums of her own songs; Had her song “Thirsty” featured in the Lion’s Gate film Peaceful Warrior (starring Nick Nolte); And she has hosted LA’s longest-running Americana music event, the Americana Song Circle for 10 years.

On her newest album, Somewhere Else, Adams delivers quality songwriting in the Carol King/Eagles/Lucinda Williams vein: deep Americana roots and vivid storytelling delivered by a group of tasteful, compassionate players including her producer and friend Nick Kirgo (Nels Kilne of Wilco, JD Souther, Vonda Shepard, Pocket Goldberg and Dave Fraser).

Recently, KC Cafe Radio Music Director Kathy Forste talked with Adams via Skype. They talked about growing up with music in her life, brushing with greatness at the Trroubadour, and the uniquely rewarding connection she has been afforded between her life and her songs.

Listen to the interview here:

Download the interview here: Interview: Lauren Adams

Music by Lauren Adams on KC Cafe Radio:

 

Wyatt Brewer Writes About Life and Love

wyatt_brewerFor Kansas City native Wyatt Brewer, writing music that he loves has practically been a life-long experience.  Between his dad that lived in Kansas City’s mid-town community of Westport, and his mom who lived in the “Northland” suburbs, Wyatt enjoyed the “best of both worlds” – experiencing live music at practically every corner of the city.

It would be Wyatt’s father that had the greatest influence on him musically, however.  A musician himself, his father owned a 4-track reel-to-reel recorder, and spent hours laying tracks on various music projects.  Wyatt grew up listening to his father assemble musical works, piece-by-piece, and gained an appreciation for the intricacies of music at an early age.

Wyatt was also highly influenced by his father’s musical influences, namely The Beatles.  His father kept a notebook of songs he played, and as early as age 10, Wyatt found himself going through that notebook picking out songs he could play on guitar.

Wyatt’s journey into original songwriting was perhaps accidental, but not surprising considering his exposure to music so far.  One night, at age 14, he was walking home from an open mic event, and began humming a tune he thought was familiar.  After realizing this was something he had never heard before, he went straight home, turned on his computer, and put words to his newfound tune.  Wyatt would go on to write other original tunes, both on his own and collaboratively with musician Sarah Lynn.

While a few of his songs have been recorded to date, he has not yet released an album.  That changes this December, when he releases Factory Made, whose title cut is influenced by the 1973 Michael Crichton Science Fiction movie Westworld.

Recently, KC Cafe Radio Music Director Kathy Forste talked with Wyatt via Skype.  They discussed his musical upbringing, his own musical influences (besides The Beatles), the accidental meeting that led to his collaboration with Sarah Lynn, and the musical goals for his life with the forthcoming release of his new album.

Listen to the interview here:

Download the interview here: Interview: Wyatt Brewer 9/27/2016

Music by Wyatt Brewer on KC Cafe Radio:

David Hakan Sings to the Heart in Stone and Steel

David HakanSometimes the winds of change blow hard on a C harp, wail at the corporate towers and shake the roots of rock ’n’ roll.

Singer/songwriter David Hakan has lived through a lot of that change, and continues to sing about it to this day.  Along the way, he has skilfully crafted his refinement of the song and songwriting into something he now shares with others… Not just fans of his music, but other musicians as well.

A native of Kansas City, David grew up with music as an integral part of life.  His mother played piano, and exposed the family to all sorts of music. “You never knew if you were going to get opera or ‘Lovin’ Spoonful’.”  His older brothers were also quite musical, playing guitar and singing covers of Peter, Paul and Mary songs.  David fit right in, singing along with his brothers, and eventually on his own.

After years of performing his original songs in coffee houses, at folk festivals and other venues, David would go on to share his passion and experience with other musicians.  He formed the Kansas City Songwriters Circle in 1992, and has mentored many successful singer/songwriters in the Kansas City area.

David recently retired from teaching, allowing him to focus all of his time on his music.  The latest product of this change in his life is reflected in his new album, Stone and Steel.  David is also taking to touring, and plans on forming a band in the near future.

Recently, KC Cafe Radio Music Director Kathy Forste talked with David via Skype.  David talks about growing up in a musical family, performing on the “coffee shop circuit,” and the importance of music in our world and the impact it has on society.

Listen to the interview here:

Download the interview here: Interview: David Hakan 7/11/2016

Music by David Hakan on KC Cafe Radio:

Lee Sims Sings From Deep Within the Heart

lee_simsSince childhood, music has been in Lee Sim’s blood.  As early as age five, at the encouragement of his parents, Lee was singing.  “As a youngster I would listen to my Mom and Dad’s record collection of Johnny Cash, Jim Reeves, and Tennessee Ernie Ford …” Lee said.  “When I was eight years old my Dad would take me to local music jam sessions, and I experienced the thrill of performing live. It was an incredibly exhilarating and humbling experience.”

It didn’t take long for Lee to begin his performing career.  Lee’s first “real gig” was at a Junior High school talent show, and within a month he founded his own band and was performing professionally.   From his home base in Colorado, Lee and his grass-roots accompaniment, The Platte River Band, have performed across the United States and Canada.

Lee’s authoritative voice has also attracted the attention of radio commercial and television show producers. As a result, his voice has been a staple with Colorado radio listeners for decades.  Additionally, Lee has performed on a laundry list of demos for songwriters, attracting the attention of producers in Nashville, where he was a finalist on the You Can Be a Star! television show.  Lee’s credits also include performing with numerous Country Music stars including Waylon Jennings, Tanya Tucker, Buck Owens, and George Strait.

Lee has earned the distinction of being Nashville’s 3-time Golden Award Winner in 2001, Colorado’s Entertainer of the Year in 2001, and Colorado’s Country Music Hall of Fame Entertainer of the Year in 2003.

Lee’s latest album, Deep In The Heart of Me represents a culmination of Lee’s musical career and influences, with nine original songs, world-class musicians, and Nashville production.  It has already rocketed to the top of the music charts, hitting #1 on the New Music Weekly Chart (Blues on Parade) and #7 on the Roots Music Report’s Weekly Top 50 True Country Album Chart.

Recently, KC Cafe Radio Music Director Kathy Forste talked with Lee.  He shares his memories of growing up in the performing spotlight under the encouragement of his parents, as well as his experiences performing along with some of country music’s greatest talent.  We also get a peek into what Lee has in store for the future, with some news of his upcoming projects slated for release later this year.

Listen to the interview here:

Download the interview here: Interview: Lee Sims 5/25/2016

Music by Lee Sims on KC Cafe Radio: