Kayt and the Hard Folks / Blog

Folk'n Rockin'

The band has had lots to be happy about in the last year! We released our album Tornado Nursery, our rhythm section has come together with the fabulous additions of Richard Begley on bass and Donn Dixon on drums, and we celebrated four years together last month. We're heading into a period of recording activity with Michael Menegon working on his debut CD, and Jp Merzetti and Kayt working on a collection of heartfelt duets. Also the full band is working on recordings of two tunes for TV and radio. It has been a pleasure to grow with our community of fans, friends, family and fellow musicians! Thanks so much to everyone for joining us on the journey.

So Much Going On - Happiness ;)

KLB's three year anniversary is coming up next month. Here what the last year has brought for the band. Our first album, Resonant Heart - Live at JPC Post Studios, came out in November 2014. The intimacy captured on tape features our little community of musicians and supporters; all amazing people! As a treat for the band, the album features guests Nick Yaksich on electric guitar and Loren Hicks on banjo. After collaborating with John Preketes, of JPC Post Studios, for several years, we officially welcomed him to KLB as our Technical Director. John enhances the experiences of musicians and fans alike. We're thrilled to share our excitement and creativity with John! Just wait till we tell you what's cooking in the studio these days!!! Paul Chalmers, on electric guitar is KLB's latest addition. If you haven't heard him play yet, you've got to. That is all. In November, KLB swelled to a six-piece with the addition of guest kit-drummer, Minas Hatzigiannatzoglou. It was a dream come true to have both percussion and kit for our style. Also Michael Menegon had the opportunity to be the amazing multi-instrumentalist that he is, leaving the time-keeping up to our wonderful guest. Expect repeat performances! We loved the six-piece experience. We are close to finishing our second album, a studio creation, featuring every KLB member including the current lineup and originals. For this ambitious project, we teamed up with Laurence Currie from MGM Trust to mix. After two years of learning and challenging ourselves, we've begun to hear what the album will sound like. There's more work to be done, but Man-O-Man! Can't wait to share it with folks. Here's to our next year! If you're around Toronto on February 28th, 2015, c'mon out to celebrate our anniversary concert at The Magic Oven (#347 Keele Street, just South of Dundas).

Makin' It A Real Show

As I write this there are 18 days till KLB plays the LME showcase. Reason #18 to join us at the event: Roy never plays the same thing twice. Always inspiring, and a fresh treat every time. Truthfully no one ever plays the same thing twice, but certain voices have exceptional variety. So there are gigs, jams, open mics, play-alongs, drop-bys, rehearsals, writing sessions, parties, get-togethers…. And then there are shows. We are, at this time, preparing an honest-to-goodness show. I’ll be wearing the brightest lime green for real!!! It’s all timed out, prepped and pre-set. The beauty of a show like this for players like us, is that we experience a new level of creative and spiritual freedom while playing. Just by knowing so intimately, the run of a show, frees the musical animal within. Awesome. Hearing the show and seeing the show are both to be considered. What elements can be brought out and featured? What stage craft can we afford to assemble in the time we have? Where shall everyone be onstage? What if the bass amp for Harriet isn’t where she wants it to be? What if the drums aren’t what Michael is used to? What if? What if? What if? In lots of ways, the music is the most straightforward part of the show. Holy crap, we’re excited. Get your tickets here: kayt-lucas-band.myshopify.com

Gigging Again!

Prepping for shows brings out the best in us! All while we’ve got more creativity than we can handle, it really is a blast to choose our instruments, gear, tunes and threads. Making flyers and posters is also fun. We’ve got so many great images from past gigs and rehearsals. The really special thing about this season is that we’ve diversified. More exciting songs, including tunes by other talented members of the band, Michael and Roy, more beautiful instruments and gear, several new venues for our performances, and most excitingly our new bass player Harriet really rocks. We’re expecting to be joined by some fabulous guests for a few of our dates (…to be announced). Gigging is probably our favourite musical endeavor. From writing to rehearsing to recording and experimenting, and all the essential ingredients, performances are the cherry on top! Can’t wait to see you at one of our shows. Meet you there!

The Album In Process

Listening to the recordings is getting really exciting! Michael, Bill and Roy are just about done laying down their parts and I’m happy with my vocals so far. We’ve had an exciting guest bass player add his talents to the mix. Can’t wait to reveal his celebrity identity! Our technical producer, John Preketes at JPC Post, has been very enthusiastic about our project. His contributions have been so valuable to the spirit of the album and the approach to recording. John’s humility, experience and openness to creative solutions are rare in an industry of egos and icons. KLB is in good hands! It’s been very fun figuring out how to approach the album. Since it’s our first as a band, it sets a precedent for our sound and style. We chose the songs based on range and poignancy. Selecting these particular tunes gives us the chance to show off the virtuosity of the boys and the dynamics of the writing. Also it sets us up to move toward other albums with a defined cohesive sound, and the freedom to explore styles with that sound. It’s been a thrill to work with this group of talented people. Looking forward to sharing the work with the world!

Sweet Summer

Just graduated from school, and back to music! Members of my band are busy in the neighbourhood making music wherever they are. (I love that we’re such a community phenomenon. Sharing with everyone. Way better than holding desperately onto secret, precious tunes.) I’m practicing back up to my former ease... to rebuild my string-finger callouses. Travelling a bit, to see the beauty of the world and reconnect with family before I start, in earnest, my new dual career making music and designing the things we use. I have a pound of new poetry, from all my commuter hours, to and from school. Looking forward to working with a few musical ideas to see what songs lurk within my notebooks. Yay!

Get Cozy

Few weeks back, we were all recovering from holiday stimulation. Now, the blues of a cold white winter have got us hibernating, hiding from the weather, and missing friends. It’s time to get cozy! The thing is, staying home too often can be miserable, so it’s important to get out from time to time. Seek an awesome hot chocolate…, or something stronger…, get together with people who make you feel good enough to forget the weather, go see a show. There are places in your town where music plays and warms the hearts of those who are willing to brave the conditions. There’ll be rock songs and love songs. There’ll be grooves that’ll make you want to dance. There’ll even be people who love the same music you do. Just go see a show. Ella Fitzgerald sang a tune about Happy Blues, a song about a gig and all the joy of listening to the artists and their stories in song. You can feel the heat of the club melting through your speakers. I dare you not to tap your toes. I swear, it would be impossible to be in a place like that and sit still. Fun! Still cold? Check the listings. Make music a destination for your cozy winter!

Holiday Favourites Results!

The results are in! Survey says that Holy Night is the number one favourite Holiday tune, followed closely by Silent Night and White Christmas. Thanks so much for all the wonderful votes! I was surprised by all the wonderful suggestions; a huge number of songs got votes - some I'd never heard of, including the link I've passed on below. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iO7ySn-Swwc So beautiful!) Honourable mention goes out to Hark the Herald Angels Sing and Little Drummer Boy. 70% report updating their holiday faves over the years.

Survey says that 70% of respondents sing along when they hear holiday tunes, and most people like or love Seasonal ditties, while a slightly smaller group dislike, or are "meh" about them.

38% of folks expect to do some kind of carolling during the season, and 20% were likely to attend a holiday concert.

Very interesting! Thank you everyone for being as curious as I am. I loved all the suggestions. Here are a few unexpected ones: Holiday Road, Step Into Christmas (Elton John), You're A Mean One Mister Grinch, Blue Christmas, Christmas Time Is Coming (Charlie Brown), Ave Maria and the Nutcracker.

My current fave is Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas! xoxo

See How The Garden Grows!

Get busy. Get interested, and get out there! Learn some holiday music. Learn how to play Happy Birthday. Play with friends. Heck, go play a few open mics. Post your works. Then, spend enough time and energy on getting better at it. And whatever you do, make room for the folks around you to excel as well. So far, this has been my mission, and is now my advice to others. And I guess the only thing I might add, from watching those amazing tune-masters I admire, is to keep the same frame of mind, no matter how good you get. It’s an inspiring thing to meet those who have influenced you, but it’s especially profound if you notice two things: Firstly, they’re just like us. They’re people who make choices about every moment of their lives and make the best of things with what they’ve got. Once, before they got notoriety for whatever it is that we admire them for, most celebrities struggled to get good at their craft. Even a “natural” has to work to learn the things they’re not naturally gifted at. The second quality I’ve noticed about many successful artists is that they don’t surround themselves with “yes” people. They’re not loose about their processes, but neither do they control their operations with an iron fist. There’s a sense of movement; A shifting, growing, supportiveness. It’s the nature of collaboration. Just as a family grows and people change, each member finding their own and their talents, truly great artists are compelled to cultivate the community of their enterprise. Finally, band members come and go, and return and inspire, and on and on… This is the nature of a family as much as it is of a band. These changes are sometimes sad, heralding the end of an era, but they’re good for everyone. I’ve been reading lots of artist biographies lately. Can you tell? I’m inspired by many of them, and also willing to head the cautionary tales. So many fascinating stories, each with a stellar sound track! Holiday reading anyone?

Music Is A Community Thing!

The best thing about music is sharing it. I remember growing up with my favourite tunes. When I played them on my Walkman (back in the day!), I felt like they were just for me. Listening to those albums, I had the sensation that I was sharing the love of that music with the players who made them. A private kind of sharing. Then, when I met someone who loved those songs too, we’d discover the sharing of them. It’s like going to a concert with your friends and thousands of total strangers who totally rock out to the same choruses that you do!! It’s an overwhelming experience. Unforgettable. Members of my band have become part of a weekly rotation of hosts at a local open mic. (Come on out to join us Saturday afternoons from 2-6pm at Mackenzie’s High Park! So fun.) We’ve been sharing our stuff in private for some time now, but the open mic has been inspiring us to play new things. We’re trying each other’s tunes and learning new covers. I’m excited to be learning some popular duets! How often does that happen? So cool. Seriously, music is meant to be shared and played where folks can hear it and be moved by the joy it brings us all.