Kenosha KidBiography




Kenosha Kid photo by Jamie Derevere


Based in the humid indie-rock haven of Athens, Georgia, Kenosha Kid has supplied the world with their own unique blend of modern-jazz-meets-college-radio for over a decade. In 2004, after several weeks study and improvisation at the Banff Centre for the Arts, bandleader Dan Nettles emerged with a flame of inspiration, a host of new collaborators and an invigorated sense  of purpose: Build a scene, write for people you know, and listen to your creative heart regardless of music idiom. Returning to Athens, Nettles did just that, which became the beginning of Kenosha Kid.

Starting with the release of Projector [2005], Kenosha Kid has provided a steady string of content: a DVD/CD package featuring an all-new score for Buster Keaton’s silent film Steamboat Bill, Jr [2008], the vinyl release of Fahrenheit [2009], the creation of an extensive Bandcamp archive which houses over 40 live shows, the powerhouse twin sonic pillars Inside Voices [2015] and Outside Choices [2017], and now in February 2019 Missing Pieces, which features a striking two-guitar incarnation augmented by three-piece string section.

Nettles describes Missing Pieces as “a beautifully layered record with a sense of melodic longing and intriguing rhythms. Expressionistic, undefinable and ecstatic, it is instrumental music drawing from the gutters and ditches of many legitimate musical traditions including, and defying, jazz, rock and modern classical genres.” Joined by second guitarist Rick Lollar, electric bassist Robby Handley and drummer Marlon Patton (whose cumulative credits include work with Jimmy Herring, Lonnie Holley and Col. Bruce Hampton, among other Atlanta notables), Nettles conjures some of the most sublime melodies of his career to date. Each song is a distinct sonic and emotional universe, dreamed up by Nettles through a process of improvisation and experimentation, gradually brought into focus with the band. The melodies are haunting, the grooves are devastating, and the band continues to expertly serve jazz purists, indie-rock hipsters, and funk loving jam fans alike.


“Groove-based rock… wide, open-spaces Americana… melodically uplifting anthems… and delicate balladry… Kenosha Kid doesn’t fit easily into any category, but rather straddles genres without inhibitions. It’s this openness to music’s possibilities that best defines Kenosha Kid and that makes for such a rewarding live experience”
All About Jazz
“…somewhere in the Schrödinger’s nexus of jazz, post-rock and improvised music… marked by an erudite rhythmic vocabulary and a sapient harmonic language.”
Free Times
“A mash-up between contemporary jazz, alt-rock and jam-band ethos, Kenosha Kid cast a wicked spell… Nettles… is an understated yet arresting guitarist and an accomplished composer with an ear for a good hook… Kenosha Kid would grace just about any festival stage.”
All About Jazz
“The Irish chapter of US guitarist Dan Nettles’ Kenosha Kid franchise blew the doors off the Bray Jazz Festival with their winning blend of killer grooves and loud guitars… artfully blends surf rock and contemporary jazz with college radio and a country twang,”
-Irish Times
“…very considered, and well composed… a cathartic and empowering album.”
Creative Loafing
“…free from labels and genre…the Athens, Georgia quartet is out with their strongest release yet… [a] heady journey of rock, prog, jazz and funk”
“Missing Pieces resonates… a cycle of broken quietude that’s gently settling into place… Throughout Kenosha Kid’s nearly 15-year existence, Nettles has written hundreds of songs, yet few resonate as profoundly as anything on Missing Pieces… as he shows in his own impenetrable and postmodern way, the only way out is through.”
-Flagpole Magazine
“…short and concise instrumentals that range between hard rock and moody jazz… heavy hitting… thoughtful moods… Sonic tapestries.”
Jazz Weekly
“Country, Americana, jazz and roots rock all play a part… deep grooves and weaving guitar lines… By all means check it out.”
Sea of Tranquility
“Nettles’ compositions are melodic and organically unfold through clear forms and solid sounds… a distinct sonic and emotional universe brought into focus by a band that listens as hard as they play… Overall, Kenosha Kid brings a collection of sounds that are imaginative and push the boundaries of rock instrumental music… a solid band and a compositional style that is more about thematic development and less about improvisational prowess… a satisfying listen”
“…eminently approachable and frequently thrilling… calls to mind Chicago post-everything icons Tortoise…”
-Flagpole Magazine

“Jazzy relaxing instrumental jams coaxing grandeur from guitars”
“The harmonic richness and rhythmic involvement come from jazz, but the sonic particulars… come from a number of places. Nettles might cite Black Sabbath, Johnny Cash, Sonny Sharrock and Elvin Jones as influences—perhaps on a single tune.”
Flagpole Magazine
“The voiceless excursions explore jazz, jam, psych, funk and rock territory with an infectious enthusiasm and instinctive creativity.”
“the sort of boundary-leaping creative jazz most listeners identify with the big-city scenes of places like Brooklyn, Seattle, and the San Francisco Bay Area.”
All Music
“Just a tremendous effort. Highly recommended.”
Bird is the Worm
“… a bird of different breed… a unique, integrated work of art.”
Something Else!
“…knotty, mind-bending jams…Kenosha Kid runs wild with the eclectic.”
“…creative music…nowhere to be found within the current musical landscape.”
“The entire combo gels seamlessly; everyone shines without showing off, weaving waves of trumpet and saxes (alto, tenor and baritone) around Dan Nettles’ sublime guitar fingering, over a restless, rustling rhythm section.”
Stomp and Stammer
“Beginning to end this album has a very ethereal feel.”
“…curious curves and focused ambulations…”
Flagpole Magazine
“Kenosha Kid’s music is simply wonderful to listen to: somehow soothing, exciting, experimental and melodic all at once.“
Greenville Journal
“Muted electronic textures, hard bop grooves, and psych-rock flourishes all come out to play in Kenosha Kid’s sound”
Creative Loafing
“Inside Voices is dense with smoldering intensity and musicianship at the apex of instrumental/experimental jazz”
Hear Around Corners
“Kenosha Kid promises to put on an energetic, fun show for those who truly love music.”
Spartanburg Herald-Journal
“The album… mixes a Periodic Chart of music elements…”
Athens Banner Herald
“Each musical step, whatever direction it may be in, forms a path, and Nettles seems to appreciate walking it.”
Red and Black
“focused movements and keen horn arrangements mark them squarely as a jazz band that plays inside and outside conventions.”
Indy Weekly
“With their most recent LP, the atmospheric and exploratory Inside Voices, the band exhibits some of the finer characteristics that place it just beyond description.”
Jam Demont
“The record glides seamlessly between moods and tones as easily as it shifts gears between tempos and key changes.”
Charlotte Viewpoint
“Kenosha Kid is solid… Combo-esque jazz that manages to separate itself from the norm and the noise…”
KAMP Arizona