Magnetic North Project is a 4-piece electric improvisation rock/blues band from eastern Pennsylvania. Band leader Kris Kehr (vocals, harp & guitar) with Zack Roth (guitar), Ray Hoffman (bass) & Zak Achenbach (drums) combine their various influences (heavy blues, roots, Americana, singer-songwriter, jamband) with a mix of covers (Willie Dixon, JJ Cale, JGB, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Tom Waits) and originals that showcase the rhythm section and the weaving twin guitars overtop.
Kris Kehr is a Berks County, PA - area singer/songwriter and musician who’s been playing professionally in various musical roles in various projects since beginning his career in the Reading area in the late 80’s. Since then he has been a bassist in the progressive bluegrass band Pavlov’s Dawgs and a multi-instrumentalist in the indie rock band Electric Farm while living in the Lehigh Valley area of PA. Kehr moved to the State College area where he started his first band, Kris Kehr & Stone Poets and held several regular gigs there between 1997 and 2002 while starting his own indie record label Woobie Cat Records and recording 3 albums with local recording talent, most notably Tom Edmonds, (Lenny Kravitz’ sound, Bearsville Studios) who co-produced ‘Long, Long Year’ with Kehr in 1997. The album featured the playing of Jim Weider (The Band, Project Percolator), Cindy Cashdollar (Bob Dylan, Levon Helm, Asleep at the Wheel) Craig Ross (Lenny Kravitz Band) and others, including members of Kehr’s band. In 2002 Kris moved to the Asheville, NC area and started touring and recording with Harmonized Records Artist the Recipe, again playing many instruments but this time a heady mix of bluegrass, funk on the jamband circuit through many college towns and large summer festivals resulting in the live album ‘All You Can Eat’. After that bands’ demise Kehr began touring with bassist Chris Kew as the Lowdogs, releasing the live album ‘In the Tall Grass’ on his Woobie Cat label in 2005 with guest guitarist Scott Murawski (Max Creek) before returning home to the Reading area again to start over.
After a few short stints in established local bands, old band resurrections & as part of a collection of regional musicians recognized in the jamband/bluegrass community called Garcia Grass, Kehr began to find his musical own legs locally again as an acoustic soloist. And after meeting bassist Ray Hoffman he started to assemble the right musicians for a 2 guitar-band that could play his music and cover Tom Waits & JJ Cale, etc. and jam mightily. Kris met guitarist Zack Roth (a singer-songwriter as well, poetry aficionado & avid trout fisherman) in Lancaster years before and together plotted out their plan of a twin-guitar attack in the vein of the Stones or the Dead, weaving counter rhythms and riffs around each other. The three started developing their style with recorded drum beats on an iPod and some fill-in live drummers before eventually finding the talented and spirited Zak Achenbach, family to old friends of Kehr’s and the best possible cure for their iPod woes. Together the four pursue that jamming electric blues guitar sound.
Magnetic North Project plays a mix of strong material with a deft & original approach to performing with respect and homage to such bands as Allman Brothers, Grateful Dead, Rolling Stones & Neil Young & Crazy Horse. Danceable but also warranting multiple listens and with an approach the takes into account musicians such as Gary Clark Jr., Tom Waits, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Government Mule, J.J. Cale and classic blues like Willie Dixon & Muddy Waters, making guitar music of the highest order.
Honey Hole Productions