Featured Artist: Kory Quinn

Featured Artist: Kory Quinn

tags: singer songwriter americana interview featured artist

posted by Will M. on February 7, 2014


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Kory Quinn is a Portland-based, internationally touring singer/songwriter just coming off the release of his latest album, At The End of The Bar. Tomorrow, he's celebrating the album's vinyl release with a show at The Hideout in Chicago as part of The Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Festival's finale. In the midst of his busy schedule, Kory took the time to tell part of his story by way of answering our interview questions. Read what he has to say and stream his new album below.

Kory Quinn

the soundparlor 10: an interview with Kory Quinn

where are you from, where did you grow up, and where do you spend most of your time these days?

I am originally from Chicago. Born and Raised in many locales in and around the city but mainly on the North and Northwest sides. I actually have spent most of my time on the road this last year. 270+ shows in 7 Countries from this past December ('13) to the previous November ('12), that's about 13 months. At the moment I am back in Chicago for stint and plan on being here for a bit, slow things down and take stock.

was there a specific event, moment, or song that first got you "into" music?

The Bob Dylan Bootlegs Volume 1. I know it came in a package of Volumes 1-3 but those first recordings are Gold. I don't have a specific song from that Record but a few come to mind: "He Was A Friend of Mine," "New York Town," and "Ramblin' Gamblin' Willie."

who were your biggest musical influences growing up?

Early on it was Green Day, Sublime, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam remnants I "borrowed" from my older brother's extensive Catalogue. Soon there after and totally by chance, my dad introduced me to the Grateful Dead, by way of Sublime's version of "Scarlet Begonias." From there it was all about going backwards. So at the very beginning of High School it was Garcia, then Dylan, and finally Guthrie took over. It was not by coincidence that these were the soundtracks of the books I was reading at the time; The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Tests, On The Road, The Grapes of Wrath. As I got older though, in my early twenties, I was introduced to Townes Van Zandt, and Hank Williams. It's kind of funny to be introduced to Hank Williams that late but I was immersed in these two for about two years while I spent some time living and traveling through Wyoming, and Idaho. There are countless others but these are the big guiding signs.

what bands are "those bands" that you're listening to right now?

Well today I have had Driftwood and Scott H. Biram on repeat. Killer Stuff. Driftwood knocks it out of the park with their extremely honest approach to songwriting and performance, they fecking own it. Scott H. Biram just scratches an itch I've always had for Texas Slide Country Blues that I wish I could play.

what instruments do you play, and how long have you been playing?

I'll play nearly anything you put in front of me but I stick to guitar and harmonica for the most part. I can play the banjo as well, if I can get my hands on one. Give me enough "encouragement" and I'll hop on the drums but its mainly a snaring exercise with a kick and cymbal crash thrown in for good measure.

to what extent have you recorded and produced your music? any complete albums? any previous experience with the recording industry?

To date, I have Two full-length albums, Waitin' For A Train, and At The End of The Bar. I have not had any particular experience in the Recording Industry and both of these have been Self-Produced with the help and collaboration of my extended family who have believed in the projects. I've been extremely lucky to be surrounded by such loyal and ardent support. You know who you all are and I'd of had a snowball's chance in hell without you.

what is the ultimate goal that you've set for your musical career?

Personally, I'd like to make my songwriting a full-time thing. I have made the touring aspect a full-time thing these past two years but the DIY route has taken its toll on my body, mind and soul. Leaving little time to actually work on my craft. It's high tide that this is taken to the next logical step. Just waiting for an angel to come and bless my head.

what are some of the immediate challenges you face in the pursuit of that goal?

There are always hurdles on this journey so much so that it will never cease to amaze you, as long as you stop to enjoy the little moments it brings. My burdens are mine alone and if someone feels like lending a hand it will always be welcomed.

do you have any shows, tours, albums, or other musical ventures happening in the next 6-12 months?

Most definitely. There are some plans in the works but most of them must be kept wrapped up for the moment. There's a really great collaboration I'm working on. I've already said too much. The biggest thing though is this "Vinyl" Release show I'll be having on Saturday, February 8th at The Hideout in Chicago. It's The Finale for The 2014 Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Festival which has had many great performances and performers in attendance. David Grisman Folk Trio, The Felice Brothers, Greensky Bluegrass, and Justin Townes Earle to name a few. I am honored to be included in such a fine group.

Kory Quinn - At The End of The Bar: