Kevin McKinney

Kevin McKinney

BandRockAdult Contemporary

Leader of Austin's legendary Soulhat returns to wreak havok with his trademark folk-funk. Playful lyrics will make you do a double-take.

Biography

You could’ve set your watch by it. If you had tuned in to Austin’s #1 rock station, KBLJ, each and every Friday at 5:00 PM for the past decade, you would’ve always heard the same thing: Kevin McKinney’s growling “Bonecrusher.” A veritable stalwart on Austin’s live music scene since fronting the legendary roots-rockers Soulhat, Kevin earned a loyal following across the country while on the HORDE tour with Blues Traveler and the Dave Matthews Band. This grassroots movement led to a deal with Sony/Epic in the 1990s.

Kevin eventually packed up the sound he had forged with Soulhat and took it solo, re-emerging with 2002’s McVein In Green, a more laid-back compilation of songs than he had ever recorded and featuring the remarkably romantic single, “Rot with You.” Earlier this year, he followed up the success of that album with Talking To Plants, another set of quirky, catchy, folk-funk-tunes simultaneously soulful, insightful and playful, as unique as the mischievous character who brought them forth. But don’t think you’ll find Kevin scaring the laid-back coffeehouse circuit anytime soon; his trademark folk-funk is too much for the latté set to handle.

Kevin has proven himself to be the consummate music industry survivor. As one reviewer put it, he’s like Col. Walter E. Kurtz from Apocalypse Now, who, “when the top brass tried to rein him in, he refused and kept going, and kept winning it his way.”

Of course, just like Col. Kurtz, Kevin’s rebelliousness knows no boundaries, including the outrageous idea of recording his extraordinarily full sound in his own kitchen. “I have spent way more money on ‘produced’ music that sounded worse than my original four-track recordings,” says Kevin. What results is the product of someone who critics have called “a one-man pop savant,” with a truly revolutionary attitude toward his craft: “I write these songs, and if they stick,” he says, “I play ‘em.”

Kevin has built his reputation on the back of his live shows, which range from intimate solo acoustic outings to full-on power trio explosions, with vocals described by critics as “warm, rich and containing a unique tone and affectation that endears the most jaded of industry-types.” The live sets remain simultaneously satisfying to the legions of Soulhat fans yet quickly attracting the uninitiated.

“I make music not by choice – it chose me. I never intended to do this for a living, “Kevin says. We can all be glad he does.

Discography

Soulhat EP (Shat)
Outdebox (Epic)
Good to be Gone (Epic)
Experiment on a Flat Plane (Terminus)
The Chrismas Album (Shat)
McVein in Green (Shat)
Talking to Plants (Shat)

Set List

Varies extensively