A Colorado native, classical training was her foundation, but traditional folk music became her passion. In the late 70’s early 80’s traditional music was not that readily available, so she did her research by attending festivals, gathering unusual folk instruments, studying books, interviewing people from Ireland and Scotland, collecting stories and songs, having music sent from abroad. She was virtually obsessed! Kim has won numerous awards including the National Mountain Dulcimer Championship in 2002, and four time award winner at the Milwaukee Irish Festival songwriting contest.
Writing poetry, stories, songs and miscellaneous word endeavors, keeps the landscapes, people and experiences alive within her work.
Ken Willson grew up in rural Minnesota and North Dakota. The early musical memories for him were cherished local events like variety shows, church music, family-made music and other grassroots experiences. Self-taught and determined, he passed through several musical lives, performing with many rock, country, bluegrass and other types of bands. Winning performance awards in such faraway places as Australia, Ken has honed his skills on stage through decades of performance and dedication to his "roots" of acoustic folk music.
Willson & McKee
But how did this happen? How do two people from different states and backgrounds come together to create such a unique sound experience? Ken and Kim met in Phoenix, Arizona. Ken was the booking agent for a local acoustic performance venue, and Kim had to audition for him to perform there! Needless to say the audition went well, she got the gig, they fell in love with each other and the music life and immediately they began performing and touring their new hybrid style of music. Since that beginning, they have concentrated on providing excellent educational and cultural programs, residencies, lyceums and workshops, alongside energetic audience friendly concerts. A Willson & McKee concert is more than a performance; it is an evening with friends. There is a feeling of sitting by the fireside sharing music and stories, rich with history and good humor. Come away on the journey…