Kenosha KidInside Voices (VINYL) **ON SALE NOW!**


Dan Nettles: guitar

Jacob Wick: trumpet

Peter Van Huffel: alto saxophone

Greg Sinibaldi: tenor & baritone saxophone

Robby Handley: bass

Marlon Patton: drums

Copyright Dan Nettles Music 2014
All songs written by Dan Nettles (BMI)
Recording & Mastering by Tom Lewis
Recording Assistance by Richard Salino
Mixed by Marlon Patton
Artwork by Ryan White

In Thomas Pynchon’s novel Gravity’s Rainbow, the Kenosha Kid is amaddeningly ambiguous figure: it might be a cowboy, or a dance, or aSodium Amytal-induced hallucination (or all of the above).Guitarist/composer Dan Nettles (who, by the way, has never been toKenosha, WI) conceived his namesake band with similarlyuncategorizable intentions. This Kenosha Kid might be an indie rockband, could be a modernist jazz ensemble, can probably be considered ajam band, and most definitely is all of the above.All of those different identities emerge at different times (and, veryoften, several at once) on Kenosha Kid’s new album, Inside Voices, dueout March 3rd. The album is the first of two planned releases (thesecond, Outside Choices, will follow in 2016) to result from a week ofintensive exploration in Nettles’ native Athens, Georgia.“We’re kind of a family band,” Nettles says. “I tell everybody, ‘Doyour thing and we’re going to showcase that.’ It’s always a joy to bewith these guys, and it always knocks me out that they want to comeplay.”

As celebratory as much of the music sounds, it was also born out ofits share of hard times. Nettles’ mother passed away after an 18-monthbattle, and when he thought about recording again it was with onequestion in mind: “What would make my mom happy?” The answer was tocreate music in ideal circumstances with some of Nettles’ favoritecollaborators. Gathering his core triomates, bassist Robby Handley and drummer MarlonPatton, and a trio of horn players who he met through the BanffWorkshop in Jazz & Creative Music – Mexico City trumpeter Jacob Wick,Berlin-based alto saxophonist Peter Van Huffel, and Seattletenor/baritone saxophonist Greg Sinibaldi – Nettles arranged for asix-night residency at Hendershot’s Coffee that allowed the band togig by night and record by day. The arrangement allowed Kenosha Kid toenjoy the best of both worlds – stretching out with lengthyimprovisations and experiments each evening, boiling the results downto concise, focused statements the next afternoon. The former areevident in a number of live recordings available on Nettles’ website,while the latter make up Inside Voices and its upcoming companionpiece. “We have this wild, sprawling performance thing,” Nettles explains,“but the studio is an instrument. I knew the players that I waswriting for could really craft something for a five-minute window thatwould be interesting to listen to all the way through but at the sametime have moments of wild improvisation that work within thosecompositional ideas.”

Nettles claims that he only writes three types of songs: Action,Comedy, and Goodbye. Inside Voices’ opening track, the atmospheric“Vanishing Point” is one of the latter; the oldest composition, itappeared on Kenosha Kid’s 2005 debut Projector and is, Nettles says,“about being at peace with change. It’s sad, but I feel like it’s alsouplifting. It’s a song about finding the beauty of being able to saygoodbye properly.” On the flipside is a song like “Zombie Party,” araucous slice of surf-rock slapstick that imagines the undead rompingpoolside.
“Fabrication” was inspired by Nettles’ “brushes with insanity,” whichhe recounts in both his family and in the musical community. The songis built on the shaky ground of a 7/4 ostinato to, the guitarist says,“explore some of the dark places that your mind can create.”Another Goodbye song, “Liberty Bell” uses a touch of southern-rock drawl tothe uneasiness that can accompany freedom – especially when it’sunexpected.
The range of Nettles’ influences can be summarized by a song like “Mapof the Universe,” which draws inspiration from both the classicalguitar music of Cuban composer Leo Brouwer and from Sacred Songs,Daryl Hall’s little-known debut solo album produced by King Crimsonmastermind Robert Fripp.
The abstract funk of “Mushmouth” pays homageto both James Brown and Fat Albert’s Junkyard Gang; the palindromiccloser “Everyone I Know” to Nine Inch Nails by way of Johnny Cash (thesong’s title is drawn from the lyrics to Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt,”memorably covered by the country legend).

The diversity of Nettles’ references can be in large part credited tohis growing up in the thriving and open-eared Athens music scene,which has long managed to strike a balance between thriving and underthe radar. The city was thrust onto the college rock map in the 1980sfollowing the success of homegrown superstars R.E.M. and The B-52s andcounts acclaimed artists like the Drive-By Truckers, Widespread Panic,The Glands, Modern Skirts, Hope For Agoldensummer and Thayer Sarranoamong its current residents.
He left Athens at 18 to study in New York and Boston, but returned tomake Athens his home base in 2003. After attending the Banff Workshop,Nettles was encouraged by then-director Dave Douglas to try to make ascene happen in his own backyard. Nettles formed Kenosha Kid in 2004with a rotating cast of musicians and released three earlier albumsprior to Inside Voices: Projector in 2005, a soundtrack to the classicBuster Keaton silent comedy Steamboat Bill Jr. in 2008, and the RayBradbury-inspired Fahrenheit in 2009.

Being a jazz musician in a rock and roll town has meant that Nettleshas been able to carve his own path, folding his multifariousinterests into his music without the pressure of genre gatekeepers.“I’ve been allowed to create my own thing independent of most rules,”he says. “In Athens nobody knows what jazz is anyway, so I didn’t haveto worry about it. When I started playing gigs I quickly realized thatnobody cared if I was playing standards, so I thought I’d just play mymusic and people liked it more anyway.”
His hometown also introduced Nettles to a wealth of music that hecouldn’t help but imbibe and incorporate into his own approach.“There’s so much soul music and music with soul in Georgia that Ididn’t even realize while I was growing up that I was drinking it in.One of the things that makes our jazz sound different is that wealways keep the soul in there. I always try to, at least.”