Ken Valdez
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Ken Valdez

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- C D R E V I E W -

Ken Valdez - Every Little Lie BLUES ON STAGE
By John Taylor www.mnblues.com
Review Date: May 2005


Here again we have a disc that’s not really blues at all. But restrictions are better left to the suits who attempt to categorize and control what we hear; it’s a musically rich world indeed, and limiting ourselves to any one genre merely means we’d miss out on some very fine music.

Ken Valdez, originally from New Mexico, now makes his home in Minneapolis. Every Little Lie is his second disc and a fine collection of heartland rock it is. Ken favors a richly textured sound with guitars, courtesy of Ken himself and Muscle Shoals veteran Wayne Perkins (who’s worked with Leon Russell, Delbert McClinton and The Rolling Stones(!)), very much front and center. Additional assistance comes from Twin Cities legend Bruce McCabe on piano and Wurlitzer. Sonny Thompson handles the bass chores while Michael Bland is anything but on drums. Credits also list Estaire Godinez on percussion and Brent Sigmeth on shakers and tambourine; normally those tasks would see the respective musicians relegated to bit player status, but Ken makes frequent and good use of both to fatten up the very full sound even further.

The songs all seem to have big, catchy hooks that grab with the first listen and don’t let go. Sing-along choruses predominate (one can almost picture the lighters held aloft at gigs), and the music is full of both tricky changes and tasteful accents that show the band musically accomplished and well rehearsed. Ken’s vocals are well seasoned for a relatively young performer (he was 25 when this disc was released) and he’s blessed with a rich, deep voice, with just a hint of a gritty rasp, that conveys both power and conviction.

No, it’s not blues, only approaching the genre on the gentle closer, “Overdue For The Blues,” featuring just Ken and acoustic guitar, which wraps things up quite nicely. But it’s a fine collection of memorable tunes played with passion and precision. True, Ken’s music lacks the straightforward simplicity that gives the blues its emotional wallop; but it’s more than made up for with melody and musicianship.
- Blues On Stage - www.mnblues.com


"Ken Valdez has it all! Amazing songs, guitar-god chops and that voice! Incredible is an understatement. Untouchable is more like it!" - Dirtyblues.com


"Ken has played with everyone in and out of New Mexico and has perfected his chops. Now it's time for the rest of the world to discover the incomparable Ken Valdez." - Ira Gordon KBAC Radio 98.1 fm Santa Fe


"One word...HOT! If you missed him, don't make that mistake again. If you see his name on the marquee, get ready to boogie. If you're on the same bill with him look out; He'll be a tough act to follow." - Sidewalk.com


Ken Valdez is one of the best musicians to ever come out of New
Mexico. The extreme talent is obvious, both live and on his cds. The kid's got great songs, guitar-whiz skills and a powerful, soulful voice. What more can you ask for?"
- TJ Trout 94.1 KZRR 94 Rock Morning Show


"Ken & company rocked the house with ANOTHER jaw-dropping performance." - Jeff Lawrence Nite Times Magazine


"Ken can sing, play, write and turn the stage into an inferno. He has a talent and passion to last him a lifetime. His voice purrs like a '66 Mustang. Ken Valdez will accomplish whatever he sets out to do." - Sarah Meadows The Santa Fe Reporter


"Ken Valdez is a powerful performer and an impressive electric guitarist. So it's pretty amazing that his new album would be an acoustic album full of almost meditative songs. Aided by Michael Kott, a cellist, Valdez has created an intense, brooding and soulful work." - Santa Fe, New Mexican


"Valdez is a rocker from Santa Fe, NM who is recognized for his phonomenal voice as well as his ferocious yet tasty guitar." - The Hawkeye - Burlington, IA - Bobby Wilson


What band take home the honor of rocking the hardest? Ken Valdez wins hands down. Santa Fe guitar wiz Ken Valdez and his band might possibly be the Latino reincarnation of Van Halen. The energy was running high, the heart-stopping bass lines and soaring guitar solos were enough to keep the crowd rocking. - Tempo - The Arts & Entertainment Magazine of The Taos News


Discography

Approach - 2000

Every Little Lie - 2004

Thoughts & Time - 2006

Photos

Bio

Quick Highlights:

* Ken is currently in pre-producton for 3 new records which will be available in the very near future with monster tours supporting the new releases

* Endorsee of Dean Markley Strings, Bonepicker Guitar Amplifiers and Effects (Check out the Ken Valdez signature amplifier and the Ken Valdez signature dual pedal), Novak Guitars & Pickups, Robert Keeley Effects and Maxon Guitar Effects

* 2009/2010 Tour with Big Head Todd & The Monsters

* Bellevue Riverfest Headliner 2009

* Thirsty Ear Festival 2008 featured performer

* Bellevue Riverfest 2008 featured performer

* Lincoln, NE legendary Zoo Bar 35th Anniversary featured performer

* Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2007 featured performer

* Sturgis Black Hills Motorcycle Rally 2007 featured performer.

* Thirsty Ear Festival 2006 featured performer

* Sturgis Bike Week - Rockin' The Rally featured
performer

* Thirsty Ear Festival 2005 featured performer

* July 2005 - Named "Best Man Rock" band in Tempo / Taos News

*Telluride Blues & Brews Festival 2005 featured performer

*2005 Taos Solar Music Festival featured performer

*Dec. 31, 2004 Star Tribune / Twin City Blues News (Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN) Critics Choice pick for one of the best albums of the year.

*Telluride Blues & Brews Festival 2004 featured performer

*September 2003 Cover Story Nite Times Magazine

*Thirsty Ear Festival 2000/2001/2003 featured performer

*September 2002 1st place - Voted best “Young Gun” guitarist/musician on Dirtyblues.com

*2001 New Mexico Music Industry Coalition Awards - Nominated 8 times in 6 categories including Album Of The Year

*Winner - Best Musical Production/R&B/Soul “Talk To Me” 2001 NMMIC Awards

*Winner - Best Musical Production/Mainstream Rock “Room To Move” 2001 NMMIC Awards

Biography taken from www.kenvaldez.com

Ken Valdez has been called “The Best Kept Secret” by many well known and respected names in the industry. This guitarist/singer/songwriter is grateful for the title, however, it is one he wishes to break free from.

Valdez, who was born and raised in the high desert of Santa Fe, New Mexico is the son of a working class Latino family. His love for music was apparent early on and it ultimately became his calling. In his own words, “…music was my first love and the only thing consistent in my life. It has been with me from the day I was born and will stay with me until the day I die. Music is who I am. It is my everything.” So, at the age of 19, with guitar in hand, he took an overflowing tank full of talent, passion and determination and set off on his own musical journey. He has never looked back.

Valdez’s debut album -Approach- caught the attention of legendary Muscle Shoals guitarist Wayne Perkins and Jon Langseth, Jonny Lang’s father. The pair convinced Valdez to move to Minneapolis, Minnesota where they created his second album Every Little Lie. It was Valdez’s first major effort at working with some of the big names in the industry including Jonny Lang, David Grissom, Michael Bland, Sonny Thompson, Estaire Godinez, Jamie Kyle, Kevin Bowe, Ricky Peterson and the infamous Peterson family. The album met rave reviews and received critical acclaim.

After his stint in the Midwest, Valdez came back to his native Santa Fe. Upon his return, he was met with an invitation to play lead guitar with Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood in his new solo project. The following year, Ken Valdez released the all acoustic album Thoughts & Time. Joining him on the album was Michael Kott, who is known as one of the world’s most beloved cello players. Thoughts & Time is the most ambitious and personal album Valdez has made to date. Many of the songs on Thoughts & Time are reflections on living which most anyone can relate. Topics of love, life, death and loss stir many emotions.

Currently, Ken Valdez is working on new songs and projects. He continues to tear up stages nationwide (soon to be worldwide) with both his electric band and his acoustic ensemble (featuring Michael Kott). He has also taken the reins of his musical vision. His collaborations with the likes of successful, multi-platinum selling, even Grammy winning songwriters, musicians and producers have brought about a truly unique sound yet is unmistakably and undeniably Ken Valdez. Searching his soul and influences, Valdez’s new work is raw, fresh and sharp. It’s not like his previous works, but it’s not like anything else either. Valdez has a rare blend of raw talent, sensitivity, and down-to-earth grittiness that gives his music a wide appeal. His vision, talent and drive have pushed the envelope on creativity and has truly developed another side to his already unique sound. The songs are real, the shows are riveting and Ken Valdez remains to be a must see, must hear experience. This “Best Kept Secret” won’t be a secret for long.

***** Ken Valdez has shared the stage with:

Gov’t Mu