Charlie Kenney — To Nashville and Back Home
Short Gap, W.Va.’s Charlie Kenney grew up loving Outlaw Country music É and that’s what he sings today. He would sing “anywhere and anytime.” Like something out of the movies, Kenney got his break in Nashville, soon putting out a demo CD produced by Rich Eckhardt, Toby Keith’s guitarist. Charlie made a video in Nashville of his song, “She Knows,” and in 2007, signed on with Three Hat Productions for his management team. Still, West Virginia remains Kenney’s home. Kenney performs with his band, Fire Creek all around the area, breaking attendance records. For more info, check out www.charliekenney.com.
Graffiti: What are your latest projects?
Kenney: I’m finishing up my first full-length album, which should be out by June.
Graffiti: How old are you?
Kenney: I’m 33.
Graffiti: Are you married? Do you have kids?
Kenney: I’m married with three kids: Heidi, Allison, and lil’ Charlie.
Graffiti: What kind of musical training do you have?
Kenney: I don’t have any professional musical training but have had vocal lessons a few different times throughout my life.
Graffiti: What venues in West Virginia and eastern Kentucky have you played?
Kenney: Mineral County Fair, Augusta Relay for Life, Friday Nite Live in Keyser, also at many night clubs and bars.
Graffiti: You were in the Marines. Where did you serve and what was your job there?
Kenney: I was in the U.S. Marines at Camp Lejune, N.C., Fort Detrick, Frederick, Md., My job there was 0311 Infantryman.
Graffiti: How old were you when you first went to Nashville?
Kenney: I went to Nashville at 30 years old.
Graffiti: How did you get that opportunity?
Kenney: I actually went to Nashville on vacation and got a break from out of nowhere from Joe Kelly of Aspirion Records.
Graffiti: How did you support yourself when you were there?
Kenney: I supported myself by being a mechanic at a junkyard.
Graffiti: What CDs are you listening to these days?
Kenney: I’m listening to Ray Scott, Eric Church, Luke Bryant, Charlie Daniels (still putting out great music), Trace Atkins.
Graffiti: What instruments do you play?
Kenney: I pick at the guitar but would not consider myself a player.
Graffiti: How did you go about putting your band together?
Kenney: When I first started, I knew nothing at all about bands. So, I put an ad in the newspaper. I went through many band members that thought they knew everything and knew nothing or just weren’t dedicated enough. I now have the best group of guys that you could get.
Graffiti: There are a lot of singers out there … how would you describe your style as being different from the pack?
Kenney: I am different from most others, because I am versatile over many genres of music and not just country. So I can take rock, jazz and blues and put it in with what I love most — country.
Graffiti: How old were you when you started playing music?
Kenney: I was probably six or seven years old when I really got into singing.
Graffiti: Do you come from a musical family?
Kenny: I come from a large family of musicians. They used to all get together on Sundays to sing and play. I have a whole family of singers. Most people go out to sing karaoke, but my family does it at home. I have a cousin that is trying to go out as an independent artist like myself.
Graffiti: What are some of the biggest gigs you’ve played?
Kenney: I was the opening act for Andy Griggs; Mineral County Fair W.Va., Canal Fest in Cumberland, Md.
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