Kevin Anthony
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Kevin Anthony

Galveston, Texas, United States | INDIE | AFM

Galveston, Texas, United States | INDIE | AFM
Band Americana Country

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Jan
11
Kevin Anthony @ Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe

Galveston, Texas, USA

Galveston, Texas, USA

Oct
27
Kevin Anthony @ Galveston Island Oktoberfest

Galveston, Texas, USA

Galveston, Texas, USA

Oct
26
Kevin Anthony @ Galveston Island Oktoberfest

Galveston, Texas, USA

Galveston, Texas, USA

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


http://theislandermagazine.com/?s=kevin+anthony&x=0&y=0 - The Islander Magazine


Isle native's band wins special award for Cajun music - Galveston County Daily News


"...The Cajun-flecked tunes are nice, but Anthony really hits his stride on the country tunes, especially those that dig deep into countrys' roots. Tunes like You Belong and Texas Skies so richly evoke the sounds of early country music-they hardly seem like new compositions" - The Advertiser


"The songs are more personal than Anthony's previous work with the Playboys, a rotating cast of roots players who capably walk the two-stepper-worn line between country and Cajun dance music.." - Star Tribune


"Anthony’s songs, though original compositions, so evoke the sounds of early country that you’ll find yourself disbelieving they’re not decades old. He’s a real talent, and you don’t want to miss him" - Times of Acadiana


"I would swear this Galveston music wonder was from deep in Cajun country!" - Examiner.com-Houston, Texas


"I would swear this Galveston music wonder was from deep in Cajun country!" - Examiner.com-Houston, Texas


"Gather ’round, cowboys and cowgirls! Amsterdam Bar & Hall hosts good ol’ boy Kevin Anthony and his crew of rag-tag country and cajun maestros the Twin City Playboys."
- Anonymous, Secrets of the City (Nov 29, 2011) - Secrets of the City, Minneapolis, Minnesota


Unlike many of today's "old-timey" bands, who play a wide range of folk, bluegrass and country, the Twin Cities Playboys are trying something different: rather than encompass a variety of sounds, they have pinpointed a very specific genre. Born and raised in Galveston, Texas, band leader Kevin Anthony has always been drawn to the combination of Texas and Cajun music that dominated his region growing up, and the Playboy's debut album Texas Memories plays like a tribute to Anthony's musical upbringing.

The disc begins with "Violet Two Step," a tribute to Anthony's grandmother and musical mentor, and the listener is introduced to the sound of warm Texas evenings filled with fiddle jams and impromptu dances. Other songs on the album alternate between waltzes and two steps, giving the disc a momentum that makes it easy to play all the way through. An accordion and fiddle dance together on "Galveston Waltz" to recreate the music of Southeastern Texas, with the Cajun influences of neighboring Louisiana adding a special flavor to the more traditional Texas country sound.

HowWasTheShow had the opportunity to ask Anthony a few questions about his unique band, his upbringing and his impressions of the Minneapolis scene.

HWTS: How long have you lived in Minnesota?

Kevin Anthony: I’ve lived in Minnesota about a year and a half. My girlfriend is from Minnesota and she told me about the scene here.

HWTS: How did you first become involved with music in Minnesota?

Anthony: I first got in involved with music in Minnesota through KFAI and listening to "Louisiana Rhythms" on Fridays via the web stream. Also, during our initial visits to look for a place to live I went to The Hexagon and sat in with The Country Doctors on the Sunday jams.

HWTS: How would you describe your sound?

Anthony: I would describe the sound as a blend of Texas and Cajun fiddle from the Gulf Coast area where I grew up. There are lots of people from Texas that work in Louisiana and vice versa and as a result music is a reflection of that. I like it that some songs are sung in half French and half English.

HWTS: What are your favorite things about Cajun and country music? What motivates you to play traditional styles of music?

Anthony: I love the old style of music mostly because it reminds me of my family and the music that they used to play. I spent a great part of my musical career pursuing different kinds of music and never really considered this style as anything but "ordinary." After the passing of my grandparents I felt the strong need to carry on their musical tradition. I spend a great deal of time traveling to Texas and Louisiana and playing with the older Cajun and Texas musicians when I can. There is so much that these players have to offer and I feel it’s important to learn as much as I can from them.

HWTS: How does living in Minnesota affect your ability to keep your Texas roots alive? Do you ever have the tendency to modify your sound into something more contemporary, and how do you stay true to what you want to do?

Anthony: Living in Minnesota is interesting in that there seems to be a great love of Texas and Texas culture. (Not all of it I realize, but musically speaking.) When I first starting playing this style of music up here folks seem to be respond to it positively. There are lots of country bands here on the scene and it’s funny when I sit in with a band and they play a "Texas" song. Their reference is usually a more modern artist that has done a song a certain way. But I feel proud of the fact that I can usually show other players a different version, usually the original version of the song. A good example is "Whiskey River" made popular by Willie Nelson. I know the version that was written by Willie’s drummer Johnny Bush. Same song but a distinctly different "Texas shuffle" flavor.

On being true to the music, I get lots of comments from folks that suggest that I should add an electric guitar picker to the band. I can appreciate that style of music but to me that’s not part of what I’m doing. That sound is a Nashville sound and not one that I’m schooled in. I’d feel the same way about playing Bluegrass or Old Time music. It’s not part of my background so I don’t think I could do it justice.

HWTS: How did you meet your band mates?

Anthony: I met my band mates through the Cajun music scene here in Minneapolis/St. Paul. There’s a Sunday Cajun social dance that happens every Sunday at The Half Time Rec and there are about six bands that rotate on the schedule. I also started up a Saturday morning Cajun jam where everyone gets together to play what they’ve been working on. A little coffee and some good times. I’m carrying on the jam tradition of Fred’s Lounge in Mamou, Louisiana which starts at 9am on Saturday. They can drink beer at 9am though....

HWTS: Tell us a little bit about your grandmother and her musical history, and you - How was the show.com


On its sophomore effect, The Twin City Playboys (TCP) goes all-out honky-tonk and makes a quantum leap forward. While its 2006 debut, Texas Memories, was more akin to an acoustic country/Cajun front-porch jam, every one of the new tracks could easily two-step its way into a Texas dancehall with fiddle and steel guitar-powered arrangements. The band manages to pull off sparkling renditions of Bobby Helm's "Fraulein" and Bob Wills' "My Shoes Keep Walking Back To You" while being versatile enough to make Merle Haggard's "Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down" sound if it were a Hank Williams tune.

But this is not solely a salute to the gods of honky-tonk on which every selection is a worshipul cover. Seven of the 11 tracks are band originals that neatly dovetail into the idiom. TCP's Kevin Anthony and Eric Paulson are developing into honky-tonk songsmiths by crafting such eyebrow-raising lines as "She's your dance floor darling and for the length of the song, she's your only true love" (Dance Floor Darling"). Occasionally, there could be a little more tear-in-your-beer sorrow expressed in the otherwise pleasant vocals, especially on the title track--yet at the same time, their harmonies recall flashes of the Flying Burrito Brothers. The disc's lone instrumental, "Oleander Waltz", features the twin fiddles of Anthony and Pop Wagner (harmony third) and interestingly resembles some sort of ethnic Scandinavian folk music. Organic stuff.
-Dan Willging (Denver, CO) - Dirty Linen-July 2008



"I have been spinning tracks from "The Twin City Playboys" on my Radio Program "Stone Cold Country" which I present on Radio Station "Yarra Valley FM 99.1" way downunder in Melbourne Australia and the listeners just love there great Country/Cajun sound with a great mix of original tunes and well chosen covers there is something for everyone on the "Texas Memories" album!


Ron Bradey- Country Music Presenter
Australia
- Yarra Valley FM 99.1


"When The Twin City Playboys were on Louisiana Rhythms it was one of my favorite shows from 2006. Listener response was great. I love the fact that they really know the background culture and the way the tunes " Texas Memories" blend well with the tunes you noted as influences. Lots of tradition, lots of skill and craftsmanship! Great CD!"

Karl Smelker, Louisiana Rhythms KFAI 90.3/106.7FM
Minneapolis | St. Paul, Minnesota
- Karl Smelker


As far as I know, the Twin City Playboys are the first band in the upper Midwest to explore that fertile crossover territory between Cajun and western swing music first made popular in the "string-band" era of Cajun music in the 1930's and 40's by the likes of Harry Choates and others. It's about time! This twist on the music of the Louisiana/Texas border region has unfortunately been mostly overlooked in the recent resurgence of interest in Cajun music. Many of us who have been playing Cajun music in the area have said more than a few times that it would be great to delve into this material. Well these guys have jumped on it and do it justice! They put on a great performance, and are fun to listen and dance to.

There are only a couple of bands in the country that I know of covering this musical turf. The Mello Joy Boys from Louisiana, and the Twin City Playboys from right here in Minnesota


Eric Mohring | KFAI Fresh Air Community Radio
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Eric Mohring | KFAI Fresh Air Community Radio



Even though they're in one of the proclaimed Meccas of the Diaspora Cajun-zydeco scene, the Twin City Playboys (TCP) do things a little different on their loose concept album of sorts. Before he emigrated to the Twin Cities, Galveston, Texas' native son Kevin Anthony was weaned on honky-tonk country, George Jones, Jim Reeves, and Patsy Cline, as well as a steady diet of Cajun-country artists like Vin Bruce, Jimmy C. Newmann, Rufus Thibodeaux, and Doug Kershaw. Close to Cajun country to the east, Tex-Mex to the southwest, and country everywhere else in between, Anthony's roots represent a crossroads of his Gulf Coast upbringing.......

Dan Willging/Dirty Linen August 2007
Boulder, Colorado
- Dirty Linen Magazine


Discography

Texas Memories-2006
The Good Times Are Killing Me-2008
Twin City Two Step: Cajun & Zydeco Music from Minneapolis/St. Paul-2008
Southside Soul: The Pulse/KFAI Compilation CD 2008
Honky Tonk Ranch Pop Wagner w/The Twin City Playboys-2008
North Star-Kevin Anthony 2010
Old Time Cajun Music-Kevin Anthony & The Twin City Playboys-2011 *Winner of the 2012 Cajun French Music Association Prix d'hors de nous award

Photos

Bio

For Galveston, Texas based musician, Kevin Anthony, whose musical life experience has brought him from Galveston, Texas, up to Houston, would bring him even farther north to New York City in 1993 and then jetted him to Minneapolis where he made his home since 2005. In December of 2010 Kevin returned to his home in Galveston, Texas to set up his music operations for SE Texas.

He’s been performing his unique sound which he calls “Gulf Coast” all throughout Texas, Louisiana with his band called G-Town as well as trips to the mid-west to Wisconsin & Minnesota where he performs with his country/Cajun band, The Twin City Playboys.

On his 2010 North Star album, his eleven-track effort, four songs see reminders of what he brought to his partnership with the Twin City Playboys and the brand new songs fit in beautifully, in addition to bringing a new sound into the fold. Anthony’s smooth voice comes through brilliantly – it’s soulful, warm and lovely, and throughout the record shows not only that he is a gifted singer, but an incredibly talented, straightforward lyricist.

And it’s no secret that for a musician, a lot of what you do and who you are comes from where you’ve been. And all those experiences that get you to where you are now bring you to find out what sound you love most.

In May of 2011, Kevin released “Old Time Cajun Music” with his Minneapolis based Twin City Playboys. This marks the first all Cajun release and the 4th release on his 409 Recordings label based in Galveston. “Old Time Cajun Music” is the winner of the Cajun French Music Association’s (CFMA) Prix Dehors de Nous Award for 2012.

Kevin is currently writing and recording material for two new albums scheduled to be completed by the end of 2012.