Charlie Kenney
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Charlie Kenney

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"Short Gap singer Gets Boost"

Short Gap singer's career gets boost from big names
Liz Beavers
Cumberland Times-News

Wed, May 07 2008

— SHORT GAP - A Short Gap man hoping to make a name for himself in the world of country music has been given a big boost from some folks who have already claimed their spot in the limelight.
It all began on a February tour of Nashville when the limousine driver asked Mineral County native Charlie Kenney what he was doing in the Music City.
"I basically said, 'Vacation,'" Kenney recalls, to which the limo driver commented, "I thought maybe you were a singer."
"I said I would be if I could come across the right people," said Kenney, who fell in love with country music at an early age and had been winning talent and karoake contests ever since.
It was at that point that the driver handed Kenney a business card for country music veteran Joe Kelly, vice president of national promotion for Aspirion Records.
"I looked at the card, and I thought, 'Should I call this guy?'"
Kenney decided to go for it, though, and after a few attempts he was finally able to reach Kelly on his cell phone. The record executive asked Kenney to meet him in a parking lot.
"I was a bit skeptical," Kenney admits. "Here it was, my first trip to Nashville, and I was supposed to meet this guy in a parking lot."
He didn't feel much better when he went to the parking lot at the agreed-upon time of noon and found it to be empty.
"It was about one minute after 12 and there was no one there," he said. "I said I'm going to give him four more minutes and then I'm going home."
Kelly showed up, however, and the two talked for a couple of minutes.
"And then he asked me, 'Have you been around Nashville? Do you think you're as good or better than all these other singers are?'
"I said, 'Yep. I think I am,'" Kenney said, smiling. " And he said, 'That's what I wanted to hear.'"
Kelly agreed to advise Kenney in the early stages of his career, and has given the Nashville hopeful a lot of advice, including how to get the attention of country radio stations and others involved in helping to make or break country music careers.
He also put Kenney in touch with Rich Eckhardt, who has made his career as guitar player for country superstar Toby Keith. Eckhardt agreed to produce Kenney's demo CD, which includes three of Kenney's original songs.
"He's been great; just great," Kenney said, noting that Eckhardt was able to get the rest of Keith's band, as well as the fiddle player for Rascal Flatts, to provide the music for the demo recording.
"The demo has gotten great response from everyone who's heard it," Kenney said.
In need of a band of his own to perform with, however, Kenney's next move was to put together a group of musicians so they could hit the road together.
"I auditioned some 150 people before I found these three," he said, referring to Greg Ingersoll, John Walter, and Robby Logsdon, who comprise Fire Creek.
"There's no three-piece band in this area that sounds like they do," he said.
And he is quick to point out that they all work together to produce the unique sound of Charlie Kenney and Fire Creek.
"Without them, I'd be nobody," he said.
Together, Kenney and the group have been taking Cumberland country fans by storm in recent months. An early summer outdoor concert drew 400 country music fans, and a recent appearance at a local night spot filled the room almost to capacity.
"They told me it was the biggest crowd they'd ever had," Kenney said.
As he continues to play local venues, Kenney said he's working with several booking agencies to set up a tour of about 250 shows across the Eastern Seaboard.
He realizes "the chances of getting a recording contract are about like winning the lottery," but with the breaks he's already gotten, he thinks there just may be a chance for him.
Already accustomed to hard work since he grew up the son of a workaholic family, he also realizes it won't be easy. And it can be especially hard on the family.
"I've got a good wife, that's all I can say," he said. "I probably wouldn't be doing this without her help."
For more information on Charlie Kenney and Fire Creek, visit their website at
Liz Beavers can be reached at

Copyright © 1999-2008 cnhi, inc.


Charlie Kenney Cumberland Times-News
- Cumberland Times News

"Next Move"

Local Talent
Daleen Berry
Cumberland Times-News

Wed, May 07 2008

— SHORT GAP, W.Va. - Judging from the crowds he's been drawing, a local man may just be the next Brad Paisley.
When asked if that's the case, a modest Charlie Kenney pauses before answering. "I hope so," he said.
Country singer Kenney and his band, Fire Creek, recently signed with Three Hat Productions in Napa, Calif. - and during the next month and a half, they have more than 20 gigs lined up.
It all starts on Aug. 9 when Kenney and Fire Creek perform for six hours at the Cumberland Firefighters Local 1715 Sportsmen's Bash. The minute that show ends, they'll jump on the tour bus and head for North Carolina, where they'll spend two weeks before returning for another Cumberland gig, at the Midtown Pub & Grille on Aug. 17.
And from there the ball just keeps on rolling for the West Virginia native, with no end in sight.
Kenney and Fire Creek are, you could say, on fire. Virtually no one had heard of the group until a year ago, but ever since then, they've been playing all over the region. The upcoming firefighter's gig is an example of their popularity - they were invited to play for six straight hours.
"That's unheard of," Kenney said. "I'm honored to do it."
The new contract with Three Hat Productions, a bigger managerial firm than the band's last one, seems to be a sign of things to come. Kenney said the firm sought out his band, and he believes it's a step up since the company promotes music acts all across the country.
Kenney hopes the band's first full-length album is wrapped up - and its first single released - by October. In the meantime, "we're really busy, busy, busy," he said. Local support is great, and a recent concert in Rockwood, Pa., sent about 60 local folks on the two-hour trip to see the band play, Kenney said.
"It blew me away. I never anticipated it," he said.
When he isn't performing, the auto mechanic - Kenney works at Leo Day's salvage yard and says he has no plans to quit - is looking for songs to perform. The band performs their own songs, as well as those of other artists, and on a recent weekend, Kenney and wife Laura listened to 5,000 songs. From those, they came away with only 17 for the band to use.
"Usually I can tell in the first couple of seconds if I like (the) song," Kenney said, adding that he wants songs he "really believes in," that don't have to be force fed. "I only sing songs that I feel ... if you don't feel a song, people can pretty much tell."
And among the band's repertoire are two songs from some local men who contacted Kenney. "You don't know where you might get the next song from ... I'm sure that more than one of their songs are going to be on my album," he said. "They're great songs."
As for the future - and a repeat of another West Virginia native's stellar music career - Kenney said, "I don't know if I'm the next Brad Paisley, because he's great. I just want to do what I do and hope people enjoy it. If I'm not, I've already accomplished more than I ever thought I would."
Daleen Berry can be reached at

Copyright © 1999-2008 cnhi, inc.


Local country music artist Charlie Kenney performs at the Mineral County Fair in Fort Ashby, W.Va., last week. Kenney and his band, Fire Creek, recently signed with Three Hats Productions in Napa, Calif., and during the next month and a half, will perform more than 20 shows, some as far away as North Carolina. Cumberland Times-News

"Tennessee YA"

Published: November 03, 2006 02:15 pm

Vince Gill still 'Building Bridges'

Grant Garland, Columnist

If you ever doubt that Vince Gill could just be the hardest working dude in country music, dig this: His current performance on the Brooks & Dunn single, "Building Bridges," is his THIRD go 'round with the ditty. He also sang on two versions cut way back in the 1980s: one by the late Nicolette Larson and another by the tune's writer, Larry Willoughby.

Sheryl Crow also joins the B&D version and she, along with Vince and Kix & Ronnie, will perform it on the CMA Awards Monday night. That collective will open the program and then later, Vince and Sheryl will team up with Vince's wife, Amy Grant and his daughter, Jenny, for a song. By the way, The Wreckers and Jason Aldean are late additions to the show's performance lineup.

When Vince does relax, he usually does it on the golf course. So much so that Golf Digest has placed him in its "Top 100 (golfers) in Music" list for 2006. Vince finishes just behind Kenny G. on the overall list, and they're immediately followed by Diamond Rio's Marty Roe and Steve Azar. No Doubt drummer Adrian Young is fifth and then slots six, seven and eight are occupied by The Gatlin Brothers (Rudy, Larry and Steve, in that order).

You have to wonder when Vince even has time to kick back on the 19th hole; As noted here before, his latest album, "These Days," is a four CD collection of all brand new material.

Meanwhile, Vince's hit, "I Still Believe in You," has been recut by Jamie O'Neal and Michael "Doobie Brothers" McDonald and it's out now. Jamie says of the experience of singing Gill while crooning with McDonald, "I get chills."
* Tennessee Ya: Local artist Charlie Kenney has been wowing crowds in the area and he's bringing his act back to Nashville. He's already recorded in Music City and we wish him the best for two shows there on Nov. 17 and 18. Charlie's music is really great and he's still playing dates locally. Get more info at
- Cumberland Times News

"Graffiti Magazine"

Artist Spotlight
> Music > Artist Spotlight
Charlie Kenney — To Nashville and Back Home
By Tamar Alexia Fleishman POSTED: May 7, 2008 Save | Print | Email | Read comments | Post a comment
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Short Gap, W.Va.’s Charlie Kenney grew up loving Outlaw Country music É and that’s what he sings today. He would sing “anywhere and anytime.” Like something out of the movies, Kenney got his break in Nashville, soon putting out a demo CD produced by Rich Eckhardt, Toby Keith’s guitarist. Charlie made a video in Nashville of his song, “She Knows,” and in 2007, signed on with Three Hat Productions for his management team. Still, West Virginia remains Kenney’s home. Kenney performs with his band, Fire Creek all around the area, breaking attendance records. For more info, check out

Graffiti: What are your latest projects?

Kenney: I’m finishing up my first full-length album, which should be out by June.

Graffiti: How old are you?

Kenney: I’m 33.

Graffiti: Are you married? Do you have kids?

Kenney: I’m married with three kids: Heidi, Allison, and lil’ Charlie.

Graffiti: What kind of musical training do you have?

Kenney: I don’t have any professional musical training but have had vocal lessons a few different times throughout my life.

Graffiti: What venues in West Virginia and eastern Kentucky have you played?

Kenney: Mineral County Fair, Augusta Relay for Life, Friday Nite Live in Keyser, also at many night clubs and bars.

Graffiti: You were in the Marines. Where did you serve and what was your job there?

Kenney: I was in the U.S. Marines at Camp Lejune, N.C., Fort Detrick, Frederick, Md., My job there was 0311 Infantryman.

Graffiti: How old were you when you first went to Nashville?

Kenney: I went to Nashville at 30 years old.

Graffiti: How did you get that opportunity?

Kenney: I actually went to Nashville on vacation and got a break from out of nowhere from Joe Kelly of Aspirion Records.

Graffiti: How did you support yourself when you were there?

Kenney: I supported myself by being a mechanic at a junkyard.

Graffiti: What CDs are you listening to these days?

Kenney: I’m listening to Ray Scott, Eric Church, Luke Bryant, Charlie Daniels (still putting out great music), Trace Atkins.

Graffiti: What instruments do you play?

Kenney: I pick at the guitar but would not consider myself a player.

Graffiti: How did you go about putting your band together?

Kenney: When I first started, I knew nothing at all about bands. So, I put an ad in the newspaper. I went through many band members that thought they knew everything and knew nothing or just weren’t dedicated enough. I now have the best group of guys that you could get.

Graffiti: There are a lot of singers out there ... how would you describe your style as being different from the pack?

Kenney: I am different from most others, because I am versatile over many genres of music and not just country. So I can take rock, jazz and blues and put it in with what I love most — country.

Graffiti: How old were you when you started playing music?

Kenney: I was probably six or seven years old when I really got into singing.

Graffiti: Do you come from a musical family?

Kenny: I come from a large family of musicians. They used to all get together on Sundays to sing and play. I have a whole family of singers. Most people go out to sing karaoke, but my family does it at home. I have a cousin that is trying to go out as an independent artist like myself.

Graffiti: What are some of the biggest gigs you’ve played?

Kenney: I was the opening act for Andy Griggs; Mineral County Fair W.Va., Canal Fest in Cumberland, Md.


Contact Tamar at

- Graffiti Magazine


Still working on that hot first release.



From a middle class family, Charlie Kenney was raised in
the rural community of Short Gap, West Virginia. Charlie cut
his teeth on country music with the likes of Waylon Jennings,
Merle Haggard and Charlie Daniels. After high school Charlie
set off to serve his country in the United States Marines but
never lost his goal of a career in country music. As he would
tell you "I would sing anywhere and anytime I had the
opportunity, it's what I love to do."
Then a break came in Nashville when Charlie met Joe Kelly,
President of National Promotions for Aspirion Records. Joe
has guided Charlie on his path of success. Joe has also
introduced him to great talents in the music business such as
Rich Eckhardt, guitarist for Toby Keith. Rich produced
Charlie's first demo album. In February
2007 Charlie signed on with Three Hat Productions, an artist
management company, to help him further his career. Also in
2007 Charlie and Fire Creek broke seven attendance records
at shows which they performed. Charlie and Joe are now back
together after completing a full length album project working
on the next big move in the music industry. Time well spent in
the music woodshed has produced an explosive show that
sets audiences on fire and leave folks wanting more of
Charlie Kenney.
Charlie has taken his working class roots and determination
to make him be successful in whatever he does, and is out to
show the world why he is hardcore when it comes to music
and fun.