It is a ton of work and stress recording a new album. My 5th recording, CLEAR THE WAY, is now finished except for the mix on one track, but it's a marvel it got completed at all. There were so many challenges and daunting circumstances, and I really could not see the end. But I am proud to share the music at last, in all its quirky diversity, from a 12-minute sound collage about change and lost dreams to a romantic waltz, to the sassy third song I co-wrote with Christa Juergens, "Fast and Off." The CD release concert for my album will be at the beautiful Sheldon Concert Hall on Tues., Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m. Tix are already on sale. I expect to have the CD available for sale before that, however...hopefully by the end of September. Meanwhile. my Neil Young tribute band, Shakey Deal, will perform at the fantastic Delmar Hall in St. Louis on Fri., Sept. 8 at 8 p.m. This is going to be an unforgettable show in which one set will be a performance of the entire EVERYBODY KNOWS THIS IS NOWHERE album. We also have a stellar opening act: Exit Music, a Tribute to Radiohead. Now you gotta admit, seeing peerless tributes to both Neil Young and Radiohead on one bill is something that doesn't happen every day! So plan on attending this show; you can learn all the details here: http://www.delmarhall.com/event/shakey-deal-090817/ Every musician trying to make an honest living can tell you their own stories of how challenging and unpredictable it is. I may have been lucky with "Up in the Air," the theme song to that George Clooney movie y'all will remember. But since then, I have taken NOTHING for granted. I've lost some people close to me, including a few of the musicians who played on my new album. I lost a relationship I cherished. And I have found that making music that matches my vision takes vigilance, concentration and flexibility. One song on my CD started out as a fairly simple acoustic song and was transformed into something entirely different and more interesting by the producer. I had to be open to that. Another song that was rather important to me got bogged down and I found that the tempo didn't work at all, so I dropped that song entirely. I had to be open to THAT, also. The point is, there are no set rules to making music, and you have to follow your heart. I've done that with CLEAR THE WAY, and I've done that with almost all my performances. I think things are getting better and more exciting, though. Even as this new record begins its tentative journey out to the public, I am already mapping out plans for the NEXT one. And as always, I care what my fans think very much. Drop me a line ANY old time, or just give me some simple encouragement. I am in this for the long haul. I LOVE making music, documenting the life we live, and keeping my eyes and heart open. I can't wait to see what the future holds, and to share as much of it as I can with YOU, my listeners and friends. Downloads of the songs on Clear The Way should be available in September, and the physical release shortly after that. Exciting times!
It was evident early this year that changes were going to be coming soon, and as I write this on the last day of April 2017, I can take stock of a whole range of positive developments and exciting gigs scheduled for spring and summer. For one thing, I have an amiable and hard-working new booking agent named Trish, and I think she'll be able to help me get more shows in some alternate avenues. For another thing, I have never before felt so comfortable with the variety of configurations I can now perform in: solo, duo, trio and the full Shakey Deal rock & roll band. I'm also doing my first all-originals show in a couple of years, on Sept. 24 at Sky Lounge. Before that, there are Neil Young tribute shows, trio shows and other fun gigs at a variety of venues. I hope I can announce a MAJOR show on Aug. 18 real soon. I feel like I passed a turning point this year...I truly realized that making music is the main thing I want to do, in many different forums. I'll be finishing my new album this summer, have separately recorded a collection of speculative film and ambient music that I'll make available to the film community soon, and I am formulating plans for a book project. These are very uncertain times, and I don't want to WAIT to aim higher in my career. I want to do it NOW. And the most important step in the process is reaching out to YOU, my fans. I invite all of you who are reading this to come say HELLO at my shows, listen to the new music I'll be putting out, and consider booking me in one of the many configurations, for a house party, private party or event in your favorite venue. I want to provide an evocative, ongoing soundtrack for the ailing but often BEAUTIFUL world we live in, and the amazing people, neighbors and friends, trying to make sense of it all. I meet some of you at my shows, and there is nothing I find more gratifying than talking to you and hearing about your lives (and the role that music plays for you), your personal journeys, etc. Music is MY personal journey these days: how to make it as creatively as possible, how to perform it dynamically and professionally, and how to reach the hearts and souls of as many people as possible. I have amazing energy right now and the courage of my convictions in all things. The changes have sometimes been turbulent, and I can't say I don't still get nervous at times. But I feel VERY fortunate to be a working musician and an active songwriter. Yes, I am aiming HIGH. After all, my career effectively started UP IN THE AIR, and I like being there. I'm gonna try to not only keep traveling those giddy heights but to survey the most diverse scenery I can, literally and metaphorically! Come along for the ride, won't you? We can trade observations on all the craziness, all the beauty and all the challenges as we go. I want to embrace the NEW, and hopefully, surprise the heck out of people. I'm in no danger of running out of ideas or big plans, any time soon!
I am not sure why I find it so hard to blog regularly...I suppose I am just too busy for my own good. But with our big show on Friday, Nov. 11 at Delmar Hall, my band Shakey Deal reached a new level of potential and professionalism, and I feel great about this. There are always new things to learn, ways to improve, and mistakes, but the feedback we got on this show was uniformly excellent. The excellent sound and lighting at Delmar Hall, the attentive staff and the wonderful audience we drew propelled us to some of our best playing ever. We'll be working on getting some video to share from the show. I am truly grateful to the fans and everyone in the band for how well this concert went, and the clear way forward that it points. I feel that this group of musicians could play on any stage now and rock the heck out of everyone. I love this band, and I do believe we offer a fresh take on Neil Young classics, sometimes varying things just enough to help you appreciate familiar songs all over again. There will be more to come. In a very difficult week, when the election nightmare seemed to infect everyone's conscience in a daunting way, our concert was a godsend. I am still pretty high on the good vibes from that night. Anyone reading this who'd like to book the Shakey Deal band for a private party or other special kind of show, just let me know. We'd love to perform at your event! Being a musician is never predictable and it's not always easy, but when things go this well. I know few things that give me more happiness. Keep on rockin' in the FREE world, everyone!
I haven't blogged for a while; I guess it doesn't come as easily to me as perhaps it should. But this is a very exciting time in my music career, so I thought I'd reach out to my fans both old and new. I have so many projects in the pipeline, I can hardly keep track of them all. First off, my Neil Young tribute band SHAKEY DEAL is starting to take off. We play at the Public House Brewing Co in St. James, MO on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. That is a fantastic venue for music, food and drink...check it out, folks! This is our second show there. We are also about to finalize a major appearance at the Castle Theatre in Bloomington, IL on Jan. 9. Meanwhile, I am continuing work on a new CD called CLEAR THE WAY; it's over halfway finished. Hoping for a late March 2016 release if all goes well. I am in talks to do the theme song for a reality TV show called "Soul Tripping," and my song "Up in the Air" has been covered by another artist on YouTube and may get a unique updated recording from yours truly if a few more pieces fall in place. Various other things are in the pipeline, and I'll be anxious to share anything that gets finalized. I can say this: I love making music and performing, more than almost anything else. I have worked hard at it, and now things are starting to pay off. My sense is that 2016 is going to be a major year for me artistically. I also want to express that every single fan and listener matters to me. If you are reading this, I care about you and your perceptions. I want to make music that touches your soul, makes you think and also enables you to tap your feet and shimmy a little bit, if you do that sort of thing! Art is, in my opinion. only complete when the listener or fan has a personal experience after the artist has served up the product of their muse. In that sense, creativity is a collaborative thing, through and through. I welcome your communication, encouragement and suggestions, folks, always! We live in a world that is increasingly crazier and more insecure, and we have to stick together. Let's make our lives, our friendships and our talents really COUNT, and do what we can to improve the world AND inspire each other. Y'all with me? Hope to see you at one of my shows real soon!
As work continues on CLEAR THE WAY, my new album, I am trying to keep pushing higher towards that mythical "next level" people keep telling me about. A couple of very good things have happened that I will be announcing soon, and the animal rescue anthem that I recorded at Shock City Studios, "Rescue Them," is now available via iTunes, CDBaby.com and as a limited physical single paired with my song "Figure Out." On Nov. 15, I travel to Springfield, MO to perform in my friend Rick Haegg's benefit concert at Drury University. On Fri., Nov. 21, Jeff Viers and I perform a duo acoustic concert at the Stone Spiral Coffeehouse in Maplewood. Show starts at 8 p.m. and there is no cover. And on Nov. 22, I will perform "Rescue Them" at the St. Louis Animal Rights Team's annual fundraiser at the First Congregational Church Fellowship Hall at 6501 Wydown Blvd. There are always surprises around every turn on my journey, and I'll try to keep you all informed as best I can. Meanwhile, remember to "CLEAR THE WAY" of obstacles preventing you from reaching your own dreams!
This coming Friday, Oct. 17, I will host my 6th Anniversary Concert at the beautiful Ozark Theatre in Webster Groves, 103 E. Lockwood. The concert starts at 8 p.m. You can get your tickets at the door day of show, or in advance right here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/kevin-renick-and-company-6th-anniversary-and-birthday-bash-tickets-13320940291 I am planning to record this concert for potential use in a future project, so having a good crowd there would be nice! Besides this being my 6th anniversary as a performer (and my birthday), it also represents roughly the 5-year anniversary of my song UP IN THE AIR making it into Jason Reitman's acclaimed film. It has been quite a journey for me, full of twists and turns, and while it hasn't all been easy, I can't imagine NOT being a musician at this point. It has brought me too much joy! I am hard at work on a new album to be called CLEAR THE WAY. I am really hoping I can get it out by Thanksgiving or soon after. I'm getting great results in the studio! The first song to be finished is called "Rescue Them," and it is about abandoned pets and the organizations that work to help them. I'll perform this song at the concert, and have some CDr copies of the single to give away. Two other things I wanted to mention. I recently appeared on the John and Kane show on IndioRadio.com; those guys are big supporters and I always have a wonderful time with them. The premiere of "Rescue Them" occurred on this show, and if you missed it, here is a link to the full podcast, which was thoroughly entertaining: http://radiokane.podomatic.com/entry/2014-10-10T14_22_54-07_00 And finally, a sad bit of news: my friend and big influence, Lou Whitney of Springfield, MO, died from cancer this past week. It was a terrible loss for the music community, and since I've known Lou for many years, this was really tough to take. But I wrote a big tribute to this visionary artist for the Zachary Mule website. If you want to know why he was so important and how I became so connected to him, read the article. You'll find it right here: http://zacharymule.com/wp/?p=1747 I have lots of big plans for fall, with the new songs coming faster than I can record them. Stay tuned for more info....and PLEASE try to attend the big concert on Oct. 17! Each and every one of you matters to me!
I'm apparently not the best blogger in the world, as I don't seem to be able to update on my activities as regularly as some artists. Part of that is because things change so rapidly in my life, and the demands on my time are such that I rarely have the luxury, especially on a regular basis, of merely sitting down and writing about myself for a fan base that I am still trying to build. At any rate, here's what I can say: after some months of turbulence in my life which I won't recount here, I am truly focusing on the music right now. I am planning to self-release a new CD this fall, to be called CLEAR THE WAY. It covers a variety of topics, including relationship stuff, introspection and the title track which takes on the state of the world. The Mom project, which I only raised a little bit for through Indie Go Go, is also still under way, but I've pushed off that release until Spring of next year. I've just about finished a song to be submitted to Tony LaRussa's ARF charity, and I hope to post a new FREE song for fans sometime very soon. My 6th Anniversary show will be at the Ozark Theatre in Webster Groves, MO on Friday, Oct. 17, at 8 p.m. I'll post info on how to get tickets soon. And St. Louis Magazine has done a nice "Seven Questions" piece on me which you can read here: http://www.stlmag.com/arts/music/seven-questions-with-songwriter-kevin-renick/ I am busier than ever, but I want to get this new album out ASAP, and then formulate some concrete plans for 2015. Stay tuned, and know that any of you reading this truly matter to me. I am dedicated to being one on one with fans, always.
I have launched an important fundraising campaign, with the goal of recording two very different albums at the same time. One is a long-planned tribute to my mother, who passed away a few years ago. I've been working on a song cycle about love, grief and transition and it's going to be the most heartfelt thing I've done. The other album will be a rocking, rootsy record produced by the legendary Lou Whitney in Springfield, MO. PLEASE, everyone, click on this link and contribute what you can. I'm very serious about making the two best records I've ever done, and YOU can be part of the process in a big way! http://igg.me/p/683429/x/6401640
I'm excited about the prospects for this year, even though financially I am struggling. But I am nearing completion on a compiliation CD that will have some great new songs on it, and remixed versions of some of my better known older songs. I hope to have "Song of Longing" up on YouTube sometime in March. On March 11, I headline a show in Chicago for the first time, at the Elbo Room. And I am working on quite a bit of new material, some of which will end up on OUR MOTHER'S PLACE, the new studio recording I am working on with a couple of top St. Louis engineers. I wish the booking process for gigs was not so unpredictable and difficult. And I wish the music industry itself weren't so fractured and hard to make waves in. But...I suppose the challenges of this profession help separate those who really have the passion for it from those who don't. I still love making music, and playing for people, and being surprised. As long as all that's true, I will keep going down this very long, winding, but often scenic road....