Kenny White

Kenny White

BandPopAdult Contemporary

Biography

As a six-year-old boy, Kenny would hear songs on the radio and play back what he’d just heard. His father, already having a brother planted firmly in the Borscht Belt circuit, was troubled. College, he thought…please…college…maybe med school? Not to be – piano lessons it was. Quickly growing impatient of being told that “yes, all the notes” were required in the Mozart pieces, and that changing them was not, indeed, making the music better, he gently pushes his teacher off the bench. Kenny decided then that he was going to play the piano...his way.

Here’s the chronology ---

Displaced native New Yorker moves to Boston. Gets gigs with Livingston Taylor and later Jonathan Edwards. Realizes Boston, while nice and clean, is not offering same chances as New York City. Rolls up Red Sox banner and Larry Bird shirt and moves back to New York. Soon finds he is fast becoming a fixture in the arena of T.V. & radio commercials. Writes and produces literally hundreds of commercials in the following years, having his music, anonymous as it was, heard by millions. Works with Linda Ronstadt, Dwight Yoakam, Gladys Knight, Aaron Neville, Ricky Skaggs, Al Jarreau, Kim Carnes, and many others while leaving an indelible mark on the ad business.

During this time meets up & coming New York based Marc Cohn & Shawn Colvin. Helps out on their records and produces “I Don’t Know Why” from Shawn’s ‘Fat City’ that earns her Best Pop Vocal Grammy nomination. Soon meets Peter Wolf and forms immediate musical bond. Goes on to produce critically acclaimed “Fools Parade” & “Sleepless”, getting to work with Keith Richards on the latter. Rolling Stone Magazine names “Sleepless” “An instant classic!” Finds time to add his piano to many films including Message in a Bottle, Ed TV, A Walk on the Moon, Forces of Nature, Where the Heart Is, Edie & Pen, and not least of all, four John Sayles films. Gets noticed as one of the most dazzling piano players on the pop music circuit, that notion seconded by many reviewers and journalists around the U.S.

Wakes up one morning, scratches head, realizes that real passion may have eluded him so far. Finds himself with a collection of well crafted, insightful & very musical compositions. Assembles A-List players to help create 2002 independent release “Uninvited Guest” and hits the road. Calls up pals he’s worked with and informs them of change of lifestyle & now wants to get on tour as much as possible. Cheryl Wheeler, Jonathan Edwards, Shawn Colvin, Peter Wolf, Richard Shindell say “Excellent, you can do some shows with me.” “Awesome”, Kenny says and packs Red Sox banner, Larry Bird shirt and razor and hits the road. Finds reviews of Uninvited Guest glowing, even earning an “Album of the Week” spotlight on George Graham’s “Mixed Bag” radio show, attracting the attention of many respected DJ’s and radio programmers including Meg Griffin of Sirius Satellite Radio & Mountain Stage.

A few years later, supporting his debut release, “Uninvited Guest,” Kenny White has once again gathered a remarkable ensemble of talent to help him record his new CD on Wildflower Records, “Symphony in 16 Bars”, featuring guest appearances by Al Anderson (NRBQ, guitar), Marc Cohn (bkgr. vox), Amy Helm ( (Ollabelle - vocals), Merrie Amsterburg (vocals) as well as the superb musicianship of Jay Bellerose (Paula Cole, Joe Henry - drums), Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan - guitars), Shawn Pelton (SNL, Sheryl Crow - drums), Dan Rieser (Marcy’s Playground, Norah Jones - drums), Larry Saltzman (Simon & Garfunkel - guitars). Mainly produced by Kenny, he called in Paul Bryan (Aimee Mann - bass, ac. guitar) and David Barratt to also produce a few tracks.” Symphony in 16 Bars” picks up thematically where Uninvited Guest left off. Like a Woody Allen film, a main character set in New York City explores the paths the heart and soul travel while trying to find his way through the complexities of love and a changing landscape.

Lyrics

How Long

Written By: Kenny White

one's slow and one's grumpy
they live in the white house
they have lots of parties the fun never ends
let's make sure when the day finally comes
time to move out
they don't hand the keys off to one of their friends
and how long are we gonna put up with this
how long can we keep getting kicked in the head
come back and beg for more
this renegade frat boy hazing the country
his cronies and yes men all cheering him on
when we beg him to stop he just pulls off our dignity
pins down our arms 'til our spirit is gone
and how long....
the miller's next door, we don't see them much lately
their kids used to play 'til the light disappeared
and the oldest one, james, so proud in his uniform
let's see, he would've been 20 this year
still you send off our boys with a patriot noise
and you can't even show up on weekends to serve
you strike up a war to settle a score
yeah you know what it's for
and you've got your nerve
and how long....
what happened to leaders who actually cared
for their places in history, cared for the truth
now we get dimwits who gloat over gimlets
with kerosene eyes and hearts cold as duluth
and how long....
i'd so love to not feel so constantly twisted up
heated, clench-fisted and chronically mad
no better than those dealing with the blows
and spending the time i'll wish later i had
when you care for the cause,
you act to protect it
when you care for the truth,
you do not correct it
when you care for the earth,
you try not to neglect it
when you care about light,
you help to reflect it
history's memory is snap photographic
and history's eyes have the deadliest aim
but history's heart will be far from empathic
when it finally gets to uncover your game
and how long....
one's slow & one's grumpy
they live in the white house
they have lots of parties the fun never ends
let's make sure when the day finally comes
time to move out
they don't hand the keys off
to one of their friends

But Never Like This

Written By: Kenny White

i don't like this guy and i don't want him here
and i'm not really crazy about you either, my dear
to tell you the truth, i think you'd all better leave
you're just using up the air that i breathe
hey...didn't i see you on avenue B
reading some miserable, lame poetry
and i remember thinking, 'why don't you just get a job?
all this whining and moaning...
man, you don't know hard'
yeah, i've been down, but never like this
i'm dark and despondent and easily pissed
maybe i just need a good therapist
yeah, i've been down, but never like this
i will sing what i want to, you beady-eyed mole
find someone else's soul to cajole
i'm no fresh, fly, johnny-come-lately
i prefer my songs in a minor key
yeah, i've been down, but never like this
i'm crampy and cranky and certainly pissed
don't ask me to smile, i will resist
yeah, i've been down, but never like this
now all of a sudden there are things to avoid
i used to be fun, but now i'm annoyed
and it doesn't help any to read the tabloids
are we more in harm's way or just more paranoid?
oh tell me again, you think i'm stressed?
y'think i've got issues i need to address?
well, i can't argue that, but tell me how do i keep
these visions away and get back to sleep
i'm thinkin' montana or saskatchewan
i am thinking about some boat i can get on
but wait just a minute, i love nyc
let those sick sons of bitches just try and get me
and yeah, i've been down, but never like this
i'm naseous, neurotic, but primarily pissed
and now someone resents the fact i exist?
well yeah, i've been down, but never like this
yeah
i've been down, but never like this

5 Girls

Written By: Kenny White

five girls leaning on the bar tonight
five tattoos at the small of their back
since when has our skin become a canvas
i want to ask the one with the cellophane backpack
yeah and i think that i might tell her that she's
looking like a billboard
with that shirt that's cute,
but oh so inappropriate for the season
instead i drag my hand across the bar,
grab my keys and walk away
but you can't be crucified for the things that you don't say

there's something going down on 7th avenue
some dude handcuffed and down on his knees
and these boys couldn't be less interested...
bunch of kojak wannabes
yeah, well you can shave your headn and suck a
lollipop and still end up a traffic cop
trying hard tonight to choose between
the chocolate glazed and boston cream
but you can't be crucified
for the things that you don't dream

he's lost in austerity in his forty-story tower
rolling in prosperity and grateful for his power
he's no maverick but he sleeps just fine
and he once told me if he said no ten times
he'd be right at least nine

i said, hey
if edison had said no
if jonas salk had said no
if debussy had said no
if jesus christ had said no
if willie mays had said no
if shakespeare had said no
if sigmund freud has said no

i'll tell you where we'd be
we'd be sick and in the darkness
with no one to inspire us
nothing on tv
and even less in the fridge
and we'd be blaming dad for everything
and not even have our sundays off to barbeque
but you can't be crucified
for the things that you don't do

so you might as well put it on the line once in a while
maybe leave something more than ashes in a pile
you got a brain, you got style
so you might as well put it on the line once in a while
yeah well, i forgot my glasses
so it's back to that bar i go
another chance to tell that girl
she shouldn't let some stranger
stick a pen into her ass
but no, instead of being helpful
i realize what i really want to do
is see the whole tattoo
and trace it with my lips
and erase it with my tongue
finger paint the remaining chinese alphabet
with the hot fudge that i saved from bouley bakery
which took a month to get a reservation
plus i didn't know i had to slip pierre a fifty
not to be put next to the bathrooms
with the pictures of the little hen
and rooster on the door
well now i found my glasses
but instead of fessing up
i catch her eye and give a stupid half-way smile
and a feeble little nod and mumble something
about an early day
but you can't be crucified
for the things that you don't say