Livestream Performances with Arts Place
Ken Bantz – February 25th at 7:30 PM – FREE
Ken Bantz’s life has been a series of travels and adventures ranging from all across the continent to his midwest roots. His varied life experiences range from growing up on a midwest family farm to working 10 on and 10 off in the summer heat of glass factories to living/backpacking in the great Northwest to working for John Mellencamp. The one constant throughout has been his music – he has been nurturing his passion for writing and playing for over two decades. These experiences have provided a broad/colorful emotional spectrum that Bantz draws upon when writing and is evident in his debut release “You Can’t Go Back”. An album whose songs include the rocker “You Can’t Go Back”, the up-tempo Delta blues of “Blind Jack Johnson”, the soft twelve string acoustic rhythm and soaring electric guitar in the love at first sight “Crowded Room”, the plight of over 3 million post-NAFTA American workers in “Till That Whistle Blows”, the calliope and sloppy tuba in “Boo Radley”-are among the songs included on this slice of life.
The Blue Sky Sessions, Kd Bantz’s fourth studio album, was three years in the writing. Todd Harrold is on drums for all songs with the exception of the final cut. Harrold, who displays his controlled attack, timing, and creativity, has shared the stage with acts like Derek Trucks Band, Gov’t Mule, Leon Russell, and The Doobie Brothers. Drums on “We Can Make It If We Try” are played by rock icon Kenny Aronoff, whose credits include performing with John Mellencamp, Paul McCartney, and The Rolling Stones. Aronoff’s dynamics and energy push this song to another level. His comment to Kd: “I had a blast recording your song–you rock.” Tim Beeler on bass, the impeccable Will Brown on percussion, and Jon Gillespie on keys round out Bantz’s band. Kd performs all guitars, vocals, dobro and harmonica.
Listen, feel it, and be true to the song—these are the lessons Kd (Ken) Bantz has learned over the years while developing his crafts of guitar playing, song writing and recording. Guitar influences include Carlos Santana, Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton and Duane Allman. Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Bruce Cockburn are major lyrical influences
“I’m not sure how long Ken Bantz has been playing guitar or writing songs, but it’s obvious from his lyrics he’s always been a keen observer of life. A number of elements combine to make “You Can’t Go Back” a wonderful listening experience. Bantz has a strong vocal presence, calming like James Taylor yet firm in delivery, and his guitar playing is consistently excellent, whether he’s playing acoustic, electric or 12 string. The songs are well composed, as are the melodies and the lyrics, making one want to Go Back to these familiar-feeling stories again and again.” Jason Hoffman- Whatzup Media.