In Thomas Pynchon’s novel Gravity’s Rainbow, the Kenosha Kid is a maddeningly ambiguous figure: it might be a cowboy, or a dance, or a Sodium Amytal-induced hallucination (or all of the above). Guitarist and composer Dan Nettles conceived his namesake band with similarly uncategorizable intentions. This Kenosha Kid might be an indie rock band, could be a modernist jazz ensemble, can probably be considered a jam band, and most definitely is all of the above. All of those different identities emerge at different times (and, very often, several at once) on Kenosha Kid’s new album, Inside Voices, to be self-released March 3rd. Check out three videoclips from the album at the bottom of the post.
The album features core trio mates, bassist Robby Handley and drummer Marlon Patton, and a trio of horn players who Nettles’ met through the Banff Workshop in Jazz & Creative Music: Mexico City trumpeter Jacob Wick, Berlin-based alto saxophonist Peter Van Huffel, and Seattle tenor/baritone saxophonist Greg Sinibaldi. “We’re kind of a family band,” Nettles says. “I tell everybody, ‘Do your thing and we’re going to showcase that.’ It’s always a joy to be with these guys, and it always knocks me out that they want to come play.”
Being a jazz musician in a rock and roll town has meant that Nettles has been able to carve his own path, folding his multifarious interests 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 have to worry about it. When I started playing gigs I quickly realized that nobody cared if I was playing standards, so I thought I’d just play my music and people liked it more anyway.” This likely explains the very broad and varied influences palpable on Inside Voices, stemming obviously from jazz but also varied types of rock and soul and even at times electronic music. From what I’ve heard, Inside Voices is intriguing, diversified and a jammin’ good time, but don’t take my word for it, see for yourself.