Head downtown to Sky City on Broad Street this Friday night and catch the talented, brilliant and easy on the ears Kenny George Band as they record both audio and video of their live performance for a live album expected to be released this fall.
The five-member group will be performing songs from their 2014 album, “Gunshy,” as well as the upcoming 2016 unnamed release.
Thanks to Kenny George’s mature approach to songwriting and the band members’ obvious gift for crafting stunning tunes, KGB appeals not just to country fans, but to all music lovers. It may be a well-worn phrase, but this is seriously a show you don’t want to miss.
Kenny George and his band are no strangers to the local scene. The band members are all from the Aiken, South Carolina, area and have been working together since 2007. Though their music is firmly planted in the country genre, the KGB combines elements of contemporary rock and traditional folk in an array of clean, melodic and soulful songs that are timeless and truly Southern.
For folks who want to know what they’re in for, the Kenny George Band website hosts a fine selection of the band’s work and they are well worth a listen. The featured tracks offer multiple examples of the talent exuding from this band, instrumentally and lyrically. Kenny George’s lyrics shoot from the hip and straight to the heart without pretension, and seemingly without effort.
Simply put, the Kenny George Band is the real deal. From twangy pedal steel to loose and wide rhythms, strong and clear vocals and catchy beats, the band delivers a phenomenal package.
And though the band offers plenty of toe-tapping and hip-shaking sounds for folks who want to dance, such as “Not Slipping Away,” “Pocket Full of Habits” and “Gunshy,” they offer some mellow and mournful heartache, too. Songs such as “Falling Down” and “Picket Fences” churn with emotion, their sparse arrangements call to mind the simple beauty of alt.country rock artist Ryan Adams. And, like Adams, Kenny George’s lyrics paint sharply focused pictures without the excessive sugary pop and frat-boy language so common in other contemporary country music.
However, it is during their live performances that the Kenny George Band really comes alive; spontaneous high-energy jams allow each band member to feed into the musical frenzy and take the crowd along with them for the ride. Frontman Kenny George said, “We really love playing Sky City. Every time we’ve played there we’ve had a really good time and it’s really good sound. In fact, the sound is incredible — (Sky City’s owner) CoCo is an amazing sound guy!”
The Sky City show — which will also feature supporting performances from Travelin’ Kine and Capital City Playboys — has been on the cards for a while.
“We’ve been talking about doing a live record for a long time,” Kenny said, “so we’re going to record the show and take some of the old stuff, some new stuff and some unreleased material that we do at live shows to release online.”
The band has enjoyed a steady climb toward commercial success, experiencing the surreal growth that comes with touring and recording. Among the more memorable events was being snowed in at Zac Brown’s Southern Ground recording studio in Atlanta in February, 2014.
“That was a great experience — being from the South, I’m pretty sure none of us had ever been snowed in anywhere and seriously, where better to be snowed in than in Zac Brown’s house?”
The Kenny George Band’s success has been a gift for the songwriter, yielding not only more gigs, but more inspiration and material.
“I’ve been writing more songs about being on the road,” Kenny said. “It’s the best part of it to me. I really like going to new places and meeting new and strange people.”
The live album from Friday night’s show at Sky City is due to be released online in the fall of this year and initially will be only available digitally, though an EP might make an appearance down the road. The band plans to release another album in 2016 featuring even more new tracks.
In addition to the show Friday night, the band is looking forward to booking more shows across the country.
“We’ve been playing two, three or more shows a week, every week for a while,” Kenny said. “We really love playing live — we are very proud of our live shows, it’s just a different experience. That’s something we want to be able to capture, and we want to share the experience on a larger scale.”
Join in the KGB experience Friday night at Sky City at 1157 Broad Street, downtown Augusta. Doors open at 8 p.m. and cover is $5. For more information, visit skycityaugusta.com or check out the band’s Facebook page at facebook.com/kennygeorgeband