Craig Kinsey once sought the marrow of life as an ascetic monk in the great silence of a monastery in the Ozark Mountains.
This was long before dizzy revelers squeezed into a club to see Kinsey command a stage occupied by a burlesque troupe, one of Houston Grand Opera’s finest singers, a tent, and an oversized bird’s nest (complete with large blue eggs) that was a true work of art. It was, however, long after Kinsey received a country education via a moonshiner’s daughter in Kentucky where the kitchen table was filled with “money, playing cards, and knives” and southern folklore filled the air. This family influence instilled in Kinsey a fascination with medicine shows, saints, outlaws, and the dynamic of hobos and traveling revival tents. A voyager at heart, he train hopped, walked, and drove across the country in search of “the old days of Guthrie, Kerouac, and John Lee Hooker.”
Kinsey once embarked on a hitchhiking expedition from Texas to Canada, singing and preaching along the way.
Sparked by an intense desire to connect with the pauper’s existence of a nomadic holy philosopher, Kinsey once embarked on a hitchhiking expedition from Texas to Canada, singing and preaching along the way. Upon his eventual return to Texas, a study of Joseph Campbell prompted him to renew a commitment to explore what lay behind “the masks of god.” Finding peace and solitude as a monk, he learned the origins of American southern music, including the beginnings of country rock, from John Michael Talbot, the Catholic singer/ songwriter who founded the monastery in which Kinsey lived for nearly five years.
“When I entered, I thought I would be there for the rest of my life,” Kinsey recalls. “Even today, I’m still a part of the monastery. Musicianship is a doorway to following the path to a higher calling. That world and the world of my stage show, to me, are one and the same thing. They both come from the same ecstatic root, deep within the human psyche.”
Graduating Magna Cum Laude with a dual degree in psychology and philosophy from Houston’s University of St. Thomas
Kinsey’s focus on spiritual and sociological pursuits showed him hesitant to occupy the musician’s lifestyle; yet, his emergence on the Americana/Gypsy Jazz scene is a direct result of said pursuits. Graduating Magna Cum Laude with a dual degree in psychology and philosophy from Houston’s University of St. Thomas, Kinsey’s long held interest in the human mind proved rewarding; during limited participation in the theatre department, he researched crowd dynamics and human socialization in groups. Forming the Sideshow Tramps with fellow classmates Geoffrey Muller and Scott McNeil (Shane Lauder joined later on drums), they developed skills gleaned from this study and orchestrated the ecstatic shows during a residency at Helios (now AvantGarden)in Houston.
“It’s important for me to use psychology and music to produce the kind of ecstasy spoken of in ancient Greece, the writings of Nietzsche, worldwide tribal rituals and communal celebrations,” Kinsey states. “The education was crucial as the Sideshow Tramps incited such enthusiasm from the crowds that we often led 200 kids into the street outside of the bar to dance, throw toilet paper, block traffic and draw out the police. There were mock rituals and watermelon sacrifices from men in loin cloths. It was surreal!”
Kinsey goes to “great lengths to build a stage in your mind, and the record plays more like a film for the ears,” while calling it “a brave album with points of greatness to fall in love with.” Kinsey’s music career includes releases by Texas-based record labels Zenhill and newly formed Splice Records. As a member of Sideshow Tramps, Kinsey celebrated as the much talked about band, and their medicine-show style, won the coveted Houston Press “Band of the Year” award. As a performer, he has toured with Hayes Carll (who admits to learning from him), opened for acts such as Ian McLagan of Faces and Roky Erickson and Snoop Dogg, as well as shared the stage with John Evans and Robert Ellis.
Releasing “The Burdener” (2008)
Kinsey established himself as a solo act by bringing in artistic elements and lyrical themes of historic, political and cultural relevance. “American Roots and Machines,” encompasses each and is a musical tour de force of Southern Rock, Gospel, Folk and Americana. Kinsey, whose notorious anti-genre stance is on full display (take one listen to “I’m Not Part of a Scene” and you’ll get it), pulls inspiration from many influences including Mozart, Charlie Chaplin, AC/DC, Tom Waits, Bill Monroe, Lightning Sam Hopkins and more on a record that critics are exhorting is nothing short of “great.”
“It’s rock and roll, naked blues, apocalyptic choirs, a township chanting just at the edge of our awareness. Starting with today’s many rock styles and going way back, we travel through the roots of America’s music,” Kinsey stated. “There is certain insanity happening here and I’m trying to heal a split between mind and body, between music and technology with this record.”Heralded by the Houston Chronicle as having “the quality of a spiritual travelogue,” the Houston Press cites that Kinsey goes to “great lengths to build a stage in your mind, and the record plays more like a film for the ears,” while calling it “a brave album with points of greatness to fall in love with.” Free Press reflects that the album is “replete with call and response anthems, classic blues mixed with punk and ample gospel choir riffs” and begs the reader to listen as it “mirrors a live show in all its frenzied glory.”
Produced by Grammy Winner Steve Christensen, American Roots and Machines was released on July 26, 2014 and ushered in with great fanfare from Kinsey’s loyal followers on a hot summer night at Fitzgerald’s in Houston. In keeping with his traveling ways, a tour is being booked around camping in national parks where Kinsey, and band members or other acts in this unique road show, will spend their time getting back to the roots of it all.
Join me in Austin Texas March 14th with Nikki Lane, TONY JOE WHITE w/ the Texas Gentlemen, WHITE DENIM, The Kernal, CW Stoneking, Ben Dickey, Ruby Boots, Sarah Klang, Becca Mancari, Atlantis Aquarius, Rayland Baxter, Golden Dawn Arkestra, and more. General admission & VIP tickets available at www.whereisthehideout.com
Stream our latest episode featuring Chris Stapleton and The Turnpike Troubadours here. It will be available for the next four weeks. If you'd like access to stream more episodes of ACLTV, become a member of your local PBS station!
If you want your party to rock, this is the band for you! Houston's High Energy Party Band, Texas TNT plays all your favorite rock songs from the 70's, 80's, and 90's through today's buzz rock hits. From dance rock to hard rock to glam, they deliver!
Sunday Morning on Songwriters Across Texas Television Show we feature the music of Tasmin -N- Timothy McCoy, Scooter Pearce, American Gypsy Band and a Gospel by Tom Cottar. Channel 12, 1012 (Cable) 54 (Dish) "Get The Music Out!"
Established in 2014 by professional musicians and music lovers, a global online platform was created for independent artists to be heard by as wide an audience as possible from our headquarters in Ontario, Canada broadcasting over fifty shows from around
Bruce Robison with special guest Kevin Anthony and G Town
March 2, 2018, 8:30pm - March 3, 2018, 12:00pm
Bruce Robison has been making music professionally for decades. He still discusses his craft with so much enthusiasm he sounds almost like a kid raving about superheroes. That infectious energy is evident in every note of his new album, Bruce Robison & the Back Porch Band, as well as his new project, The Next Waltz, a blossoming community of artists, fans and friends gathering both virtually and at his recording studio in Lockhart, just outside of Austin.
In both cases, the point is to celebrate country music’s rich traditions while giving creativity free rein to go where it might, as long as it’s somewhere worth traveling. It’s also about celebrating Robison’s “love of the craft of song.”
Take a little Peggy Sue, Cajun fiddle, jumping sawdust and mama
too for the latest release from Kevin Anthony and G-Town.
Jump the Fence is the 10th album from this South Texas boy born where the Gulf Coast waters flow, but he’s got a little French Cajun somewhere in him too.
Anthony’s songs are well crafted and timeless. Add to the mix an old timer or two, Hill County gals, twangy guitars, and weeping pedal steel, and you get the kind of music that your Grandpa would’ve listened to, the kind of music that takes you back to the good old days of good time radio. Everything’s a little bit sweet, not too spicy and a tasty bowl of gumbo mixed in there too. You can’t help but tap your foot and slap your knee. Oh, and he can sing it all in French too.
Did you see 2018 Lone Star Jam ARTIST ANNOUNCEMENT?
Saturday 5/26: Gary Allan | Reckless Kelly | Stoney LaRue | Roger Creager | Flatland Cavalry | Dalton Domino | Kody West | Randall King | The Drugstore Gypsies
Sunday 5/27: Randy Rogers Band | Casey Donahew | William Clark Green | Parker McCollum | Kyle Park | Mike and the Moonpies | Read Southall Band | Grant Gilbert
Plus more to be announced soon! Tickets go on sale THIS FRIDAY 2/16 at 10am at www.lonestarjam.com
The full band comes to the Mucky Duck this Saturday evening Feb 17th. We've got a 7:00 and a 9:30 show. It's always a joy to play the Mucky Duck and it's really going to be an honor to bring in the Big 50 with my Houston friends. Thanks for getting the word out. Here's the ticket link www.mcgonigels.com/Shows/Terri+Hendrix+-+February+17+2018
Local artist and musician Catherine Stroud delights your ears on the MOD Coffeehouse patio! Come through from 7 to 9pm for a relaxing evening. This event is family friendly and free, although tips are greatly appreciated.