Better Know an Artist (Vol 21): Kevin Aldridge

Kevin Aldridge is a local rock-n-roller, who crafts songs with strong hooks and clever lyrics. His recent single, “Winner Leaves Town”, got the attention of a lot of local writers and fans. He’s continued to release quality singles leading up to his next album release, with the release of “El Juando” not too long ago, and this week’s release, “Faux Bluze”. Kevin sat down (or walked around, I don’t know) and answered the usual questions, so you know, find out about him, and check out some tunes or catch him live.

Me: For starters, tell us a little about yourself. How did you first get into music? And when did you know this is what you want to do for a living (money be damned)?

KA: Every weekend, my mom would put on a stack of records while she cleaned the house. that was the beginning of it all for me.

In terms of working in music, I was broken into the business in 1992 by some friends in a band that needed a road manager and I figured that sounded waaaay more fun than college. So at 18, basically a young boy, I started lugging gear around the country, selling merch, driving a crappy van and haggling with club owners. You learn a lot about the non-glamorous side of the music business very quickly. I didn’t have a timeline. I figured I’d do the grunt work until I had the juice and gumption to start my own group. I just fell in love with everything about this thing and even though the business side of music brings out the absolute worst in people, I knew this was what I wanted to do with my life.

Me: How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it before?

KA: I tend to describe it in very simple terms. It’s rock and roll. Sometimes loud, sometimes not. No gimmicks needed. That’s very generic to a lot of people but it isn’t something I think about. Ever. Sub genres and classifications don’t interest me. For me, music is about creating things. I’m find with letting the papers & dirt sheets come up with how to describe it.

Me: Who are some of your biggest musical influences, and why?

KA: My mother’s stack of house cleaning records was headlined by acts like the Carpenters. Karen’s voice was really quite something and an early influence for me. REM is my favorite act of all time. I’m the biggest mark for those guys. I connect to their stuff like nothing else I’ve ever heard. Great craftsmen and workers. Their records are timeless to me. Ice Cube, Neil Young, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and the Jayhawks are all giants to me as well with the way they can turn a phrase.

Me: Which of your songs means the most ot you, and if you don’t mind me asking, why?

KA: “Layin’ Around” is probably the one that means the most to me. It’s about my dearly deserted dog, tag team partner & best friend, Trapper. He was a basset/bloodhound mix who lived for 14 years. The rhythm of the song is based on how he walks to I can’t help but think of him when we play it. I don’t think that will shock anyone.

Me: If you could open for any act, dead or alive, who would it be, and why?

KA: Easy One. If I had the booking pencil, we’d open for REM on the Work Tour. That would be 87-88 when they were white hot!

Me: Any favorite new musical acts, local or otherwise?

KA: I’m a broken record when it comes to my favorite local bands. These aren’t new bands but Oil Boom is DFW’s bell cow for me. I love that band. Ryan Taylor is a treasure as a songwriter & guitar player. That’s an all time strong style trio for me. I dig Gollay so very much. I love the way they play together as a group. Serving the songs in an unselfish way. Daniel Markham is such a dude. Awesome, awesome songs! Same goes for Son of Stan. Amazing gift for songwriting, production & all good things in between. I could go on and on. There are so many good acts.

Me: What’s your “stranded on an island” record?

KA: REM’s Life’s Rich Pageant at the moment (and most moments). Sometimes, it’s the Jayhawks’ Sound of Lies.

Me: Moving onto the home front, what are your favorite (and least favorite) things about the DFW music scene?

KA: Least favorite – nothing. You can’t dwell on that stuff. I’m not into shooting on people or burying anyone.

My favorite thing about the scene is the diversity and wealth of talent. It is bigger than ever and full of people who can go.

Me: Favorite DFW venue to play (or see a show). Why?

KA: I love the Chat Room, Magnolia Motor Lounge & Lola’s but for different reasons.

The Chat Room. It’s always a home game there even though it’s smaller than a Philly bingo hall. Plus, Jon Carney is a top guy and like a brother to me. He always takes care of us at the Chat.

Solo shows at Magnolia are the best. Reminds me of playing Caravan of Dreams. People are generally engaged and into what’s being done on stage so you don’t have to do a bunch of high spots or have crazy theatrics to get their attention.

Lola’s is still the best place to take your loudest amp to play your loudest tunes. And now that the Trailer Park is up and running, there’s no telling what Forella and Co. have cooking for Lola’s.

Me: Any favorite local acts people should be looking out for?

KA: I can put over an act that’s new-ish to me – Jake Robison. His record, Como Mansion, is really cool.

Me: And for shits and giggle, what’s a fun fact that most people don’t know about you?

KA: My resting heart rate is 56. That’s a shoot. I’m not joking.

Thanks so much to Kevin for taking the time. You can catch Kevin at Magnolia Motor Lodge this Saturday for the release of his latest single “Faux Bluze”. Show starts at 10:00 and he’s got Darth Vato and Jake Robison along for the ride.

Listen: “El Juando”

Listen: “Winner Leaves Town”

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