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"KK Ryder Songwriter reviews music reviewer:47 cocktail napkins soak up the story during Tin Pan South By Michele G. Hudson"

Songwriter reviews music reviewer:47 cocktail napkins soak up the story during Tin Pan South By Michele G. Hudson

As a newbie to Nashville, my initiation into Music City took place during Tin Pan South when The Jeffrey Steele Band rocked my socks off! A Central Florida songwriter in town for NSAI’s smorgasbord of events, I got my Fast Pass money’s worth and more. What made this March 31 show at 3rd & Lindsley extra memorable was whom I shared my nearly-front-row table with:

KK Ryder, a Seattle-based southern rock singer/songwriter and music reviewer.

The first thing about KK that caught my attention was all the bling. A butterfly ring spanned the width of three fingers, and a bejeweled watch with red leather band, were hard to miss. All the glitz, coupled with her Motley Crue t-shirt and appliquéd jeans, shouted “CREATIVE INDIVIDUAL.” Who was this fashion-rebel, rocker-chick? I was about to find out.

Emerging from KK’s wavey dark-auburn tresses was a 3-foot-long braded “tail” sporting feathers on the tip. Rockin’ out in her seat, KK bobbed to Jeffrey’s intense guitar riffs and, every so often, she’d twirl “the tail” in rhythm to the beat.

When Jeffrey flicked his guitar pick into the mesmerized crowd, I watched in fascination as KK suddenly became a stealth cat: She crawled all over the floor and under crowed tables in search of that coveted memento like a ravenous lion in search of meat.

Conversation was limited due to the decibels blasting from the stage, but I was able to ask her a burning question: “Are you planning to spill something?” I pointed to a 2-inch-high stack of cocktail napkins perched on the table in front of her.

Our tone was close to shouting as we struggled to communicate above the band’s roar.

“No,” she laughed. “I’m a music reviewer and I use the napkins to write my notes on!”

Weird, I thought, yet now I was really intrigued… a music reviewer. “I majored in journalism,” I yelled.

“Well, then, maybe you should write a story about me!” I smiled and shrugged it off.

I was there to be entertained, not work.

Yet, in between moments of fixation on Jeffery and his band, another show of sorts began to unfold in front of me: KK in action. I watched her snap photos at just the right moments, capturing Jeffrey in the wildest of poses. I watched her fill napkin after napkin with word after word. In between her note taking, she relished the concert with a passionate intensity that matched Jeffrey’s guitar riffs and vocals.

Suddenly, I felt my journalistic instincts kick in. I grabbed a camera, got out of my seat so I could get the most optimal angles, and started shooting pics of this funky journalist – doin’ her thang. Stealing a few cocktail napkins from KK’s stash, I began my own note-taking journey.

I was hooked on the fascinating sideshow that played out during Jeffrey’s concert, and jotted down what would soon turn into this story.

That memorable night at 3rd & Lindsley proved to be a doubleheader: The Jeffrey Steele Band, and KK Ryder – Music Reviewer, in action!

Get to know this wild chick, what makes her tick, and learn more about her role in crafting music reviews by checking out my email interview with KK, featured below:

Question: How did you become a music reviewer, and when? KK’s Response: Wow…it’s funny you should ask that, because it was last year during TIN PAN SOUTH, at this time, right there at that very club…[3rd & Lindsley] on that very stage…where the whole “KKR napkin review” was born. It was the Mac Davis, Jeffrey Steele, Chuck Cannon, David Pack show, with very special guest Bekka Bramlett. The show was incredible! The evening didn’t start out as a review though, it actually started out as just a great night to listen to some major hit songwriter/artists, and hang with a few other NSAI (NASHVILLE SONGWRITERS ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL) coordinators that I had met over the past week. A drink was spilled on our table right before the show and I went up to the bartender to get a few napkins. I cleaned up the spill and, being a table full of writers, I think we all started just cracking jokes about whatever. Me being the Chick, I just grabbed a pen out of my purse and we started a “table co-write;” and then the show was about to start. Chuck Cannon kicked off the show and I just started to write how the music made me feel and the name of the song; then I believe Mac started singing. I wrote down a little more and went…awww sheee-it, I’m doin’ a review!… and that’s how it all began. But after Chuck read my review, he and David Pack had it up on their websites for months. As a matter of fact, check this out…you as a writer will love this: That night during the show I got up to take a little potty break and when I came out I was walking back by the bar and this dark curly haired guy sees me with the napkins in hand and asks me a “waitress” type question…like d’ya’ll serve…blah blah, and I look at him and say, “Chuck?” He says, “KK…oh I am soooo sorry… with all the napkins I thought you were one of the waitresses.” I was impressed he remembered about the whole napkin bit from last year so he says….“Oh you’re here to review Jeff’s show.” I thought that was great that he remembered that I had written the entire show the past year on a stack of napkins. Bekka told me after that show that she thought it was “very ROCK N ROLL” of me to write it that way, [on napkins] and I even got some great e-mails from her after that. I just re-read my review on that show and I think it’s kinda like, which came first, the chicken or the egg…was the table-songwriting session the reason for getting the napkins, or the actual spill on the table? At any rate I’m glad it happened because a lot of doors opened for me after that night. My review was passed around NASHVILLE.

Ya know the whole “reviewing on a napkin” thing, after I did that, and it was published on a couple websites just felt right… so I still use it even while reviewing CD’s and shows from time to time.

Question: Have you always had this super-eccentric creative side? KK’s Response: Oh my…I have a big huge coffee table book at home that is filled with “Birthday” info and it says DEC. 21ST is the day of …get this, THE GREAT INIGMA hahahaha. I was also born on FRANK ZAPPA’S birthday so that kinda gives me a license to be as “crazy as I wanna be”…plus a musician! Even though I was raised on a little farm in Illinois I was the tomboy tree climber who would listen to bands like CHEAP TRICK and wear my blue suede cowboy boots, CHEAP TRICK t-shirt, and a really funky bowtie like Rick Neilson to High School – just cuz I thought it was kewl. I didn’t care what other people thought…and I still don’t, really. I’ve never been good about bein’ someone else’s clone (I even put that in a song). It’s kinda funny because I used to dress my Barbie dolls up in flashy clothes too, and that’s how my personality is even today. Part of my heritage is American Indian, hence the braid…which has gotten a little out of hand lately and kept catching on stuff so just recently I had to whack it off …but I saved enough of it at the top so that I can still attach it for when I do shows. And the feathers, well, they just kinda symbolize freedom of the Native Spirit – and I am also a free spirited southern rock chick. I am…just, well, I guess: free to be me…ya know? And I also needed a new acting headshot and had just been signed to an agency and, braids don’t always work when you are trying to portray characters… so WHACK! I hated to do it though…I was very attached to it…no pun intended. Question: What has been your most memorable concert or review? KK’s: Response: No question, hands down…the TPS show that started it all with the “KKR napkin-review.” Before that I had only reviewed my friends CD of THE FABULOUS WAILERS and that was just because I was talking to the bass player Buck Ormsby on the phone and telling him how I really loved certain things in certain songs and he suggested that I write a CD review for their website…so I did. You can read their CADILLAC TO MEXICO review on my site: and you can read about these LOUIE LOUIE Legends at several of my other reviews can be read on my website. I have reviewed some fun shows and CD reviews, even one about ALAN WHITE the drummer of YES…Gretchen Christopher of THE FLEETWOODS and even JIMI HENDRIX baby brother LEON HENDRIX and recently I reviewed a comedy CD for MICHAEL GELBART hmm so I guess now that makes me an entertainment reviewer but if you would like you can read these by checking them out on my blog I enjoyed the process so much that, as you see…I am still doin’ it. But no… I never really set out to be a music reviewer, it just sorta snuck up on me. I enjoy the hell out of it and it keeps my creative juices flowing – plus it helps others! Question: What are the challenges and joys of being a music journalist? KK’s Response: You have to keep really good notes, and number those pages, do your research on the songs, the writers, be aware of what is going on around you and most of all, stay out of people’s way like the staff and crew of the show… oh…as for the guitar pick that night…another lady ended up with it but I have a pretty extensive pick collection and, well, that would have been a nice addition…I guess it was a little “stealthy” but I say, just have fun…don’t ever let a review stress you out. Go at your own pace after you have collected the information and write the best review that you can, and do it with heart! Question: Describe yourself in context to what traits make a great music reviewer? KK’s Response: Well, I took creative writing in School and have been a poet since oh, probably 9 years old, and a songwriter since 16, and keeping an on-going journal for 20 years about my life certainly hasn’t hurt. But I just really think that someone who can stay on their toes as a writer and make stuff up out of nothing…ohhhh give me a blank sheet of paper and let me at it…better yet, let’s go out for drinks and grab a stack of napkins and we will have an extremely creative time together! [Laughs]. My mom back in Illinois, for the last 7 years has been creatively and quite humorously cranking out these family Holiday newsletters, and she is one heck of a creative individual with her drawing and writing style. I get a lot of my creativity from her…she always said “you make your own boredom,” so I got involved in all kinds of creative stuff! Question: What else would you like people to know about you? KK’s Response: If there is a really awesome show about to happen at a club and I am in the room…hide your napkins! [Laughs]. No seriously, I can be a little on the eccentric side but it’s ok. I love people, enjoy performing with my band THE EZY RYDERS, and I do a spot on an internet streamed radio show called INTERVENTION RADIO which you can all find out about on my my space at Hmm… and one more thang… on the creative side, I love photography. I have designed swimwear in the past and I also design dichroic jewelry and my own line of sunglasses called RYDER ROCKERS. If you look on PAUL RODGERS site there is a picture of PAUL and two of the QUEEN band members with my RYDER ROCKERS on…but don’t quote me on that…they suspiciously sure do look like my brand and it is possible because in Seattle I sit in with a couple of Paul’s band players Jeff Kathan and Lynn Sorensen. Michele’s Wrap Up: KK’s contagious enthusiasm oozes onto those she encounters. I found myself mimicking her HIP-TALK and deciding it was KEWL to wear my plaid pants with a polka-dot top. KK, thanks for sharing the excitement of your Crazzzzy and ROCKIN’ career with us. Be on the lookout for KK – she spells CRE-A-TIV-I-TY her own unique way… and be sure to bring along plenty of cocktail napkins! ____________________________________________________________________________ KK Ryder is a Seattle-based music reviewer/singer-songwriter/actor and host a spot on a weekly Internet radio show called INTERVENTION RADIO with Dr. David Scratchley and Jerry Benson. Michele G. Hudson, is a Central-Fla.-based songwriter, TV producer, and owner of Top-of-Mind Music. She is a SESAC affiliate, and member of Nashville Songwriters Association International. email:

Published in: Uncategorizedon February 5, 2008 at 8:32 pm
Tags: chuck cannon, david pack, kk ryder, mac davis, michele hudson, music, songwriting
- Uncategorizedon / N.S.A.I




including a hidden track recorded with Paul Rodgers band members Lynn Sorensen and Jeff Kathen and special guesting on guitar on both CD's Randy Hansen and featured on TAKE ME ALL THE WAY is ROGER FISHER on Lead guitat (Founding member of HEART)



KK Ryder is a singer/songwriter from a little white farm in Plainfield Illinois. After a 3 year stint in the U.S. Army in Germany playing high profile NCO Club gigs KK landed in Seattle and became a family member of the Seattle music scene. KKs’ love of Southern Rock, Rockin’ country and Biker Bars and festivals have kept her in the mix sharing the stage with many notables.
After playing many shows a year sitting in with her friends on stage and with her band THE EZY RYDERS since 2004, taking the grass roots approach to selling her debut cd
KK has sold around 2,500 copies of HEART OF THE REBEL PRINCESS and her Sophmore CD THAT'S STILL ME has sold around 1,500 and has had several downloads. A much more extensive view of KK Ryder and who she is can be found on