Kyle Jennings
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Kyle Jennings


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"Kyle Jennings In Concert (review)"

Kyle Jennings in concert

Kyle Jennings came back from Nashville, Tenn. to Kalamazoo, near his hometown of Comstock, to release his second album, "Long Black Cadillac," at the State Theatre.

Jennings was a star, girls screaming, men jumping, former classmates shouting out. People who remember him from when he lived here are proud of him, for the imprint he's made on the Nashville scene. When I interviewed him a couple weeks ago for a story previewing Saturday's show, he told me people come up to him when he's back home and ask him what it's like being a rich country music star. Jennings said he laughs and says, "Rich? I'm having a hard time filling up my truck, got five bucks?"

But the people still seem to look at him as a major player, and it made for a packed theater and many screaming people.

Highlights of the show, for me, included:

Jennings told me he truly loves music, especially the music he and his partners write and perform. It showed exceptionally on Saturday, with big smiles — there was no doubt that Jennings was having the time of his life.
Jennings, a country star whose greatest influence is probably Johnny Cash, performed a great rendition of Coldplay's "Yellow" and a note-perfect cover of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb." Jennings said these songs were for people "...who maybe aren't country fans. Maybe you got dragged here by your country fan girlfriend."
The rendition of Cash's "Oney," which is on Jennings' new album.
Fiddler Olivia McPeek was astonishing on Charlie Daniels' "Devil Went Down to Georgia."

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- Justin Hinkley (Battle Creek Enquirer)

"Indie country coming to Arcadia Creek"

Indie country coming to Arcadia Creek

Kyle Jennings invites Nashville musician friends to inaugural fest

Thursday, August 10, 2006
By John Liberty 269-388-8579

Kyle Jennings did what everyone else would do when throwing a party -- phone a few friends.

Jennings, a country singer-songwriter who moved from Comstock Township to Nashville in 2002 to pursue a career in music, is hosting what he hopes is the first of many Dark Horse Music Fests starting at 11 a.m. Saturday at Arcadia Creek Festival Place, in downtown Kalamazoo. His companies, Dark Horse Entertainment and Dark Horse Records, are organizing the event, which features Jennings as the headliner and his musician friends from Nashville, plus one local country band.

Jennings, who is in the process of selecting songs for a new CD to be released sometime next year, said the group of independent country artists have run in the same circles for years, and that high-energy cohesiveness will be clear to audiences.

``They're really going to see the chemistry of how everybody gets along -- we're all buddies,'' Jennings said during a phone interview from Nashville. ``I don't think people are going to understand what's coming until they see it. From start to finish, it's going to be sick.''

Jennings recruited Laurie Killian Starr, Raisin' Cain, the Wayd Battle Band and Jerrod Niemann, who co-wrote ``Good Ride Cowboy'' and ``That Girl Is A Cowboy'' with Richie Brown and Garth Brooks, for the inaugural country music festival, which is being funded by a local businessman who asked to remain anonymous. The Bronk Bros. and Headin' South, a local country quintet, will begin the live music at 1 p.m. Jennings will take the stage at 9 p.m., and he promised a suprise finale to conclude the fest.

``Following our performance, there's going to be a very exciting, memorable event,'' he said.

Jennings, 28, said the cap to the evening will fall in line with the boot-stompin' entertainment provided during the day. Jennings said each performer has a unique style. Wayd Battle, for example, who writes songs for Sony/BMG Music and will perform at 3 p.m., is left-handed and learned to play his father's right-handed guitar upside down and continues to play that way today.

``Wayd is just off the charts,'' Jennings said. ``He's about as Southern rocker as you get. He'll be out there swinging his long hair and playing his (guitar) upside-down. It's pretty wild.''

Although the festival originally had an age restriction during the evening hours, Jennings said it will be an all-ages concert throughout. Clowns will be on hand from noon to 4 p.m. There will be a sledgehammer slam and a dunk tank featuring girls from the Wild Bull Saloon and Streak Pit, which is scheduled to open in the fall. Food vendors from Wild Bull Saloon, Olde Peninsula Brew Pub, Big Moe's BBQ and Catering and Good'wich will be on hand, and beer will be served.

The festival is the first event of its kind for Jennings and his relatively new entertainment company.

``I knew there would be work involved. It's certainly been a learning experience,'' he said. ``It's been frustrating at times and rewarding at times, but I'm extremely excited.''

It's also his way of giving back to his hometown.

``I'm extremely proud of my hometown and where I'm from, and I want to build something to emphasize downtown Kalamazoo,'' he said.

- Kalamazoo Gazette

"Country Bashin' - Seven Performers pump country fans by the thousands"

Cloudy skies and the absence of a beer tent did little to dampen the spirit of the 13th annual B-93 Birthday Bash.

Saturday's daylong concert at the Ionia Fairgrounds marked the first time Bash operated as an alcohol-free event. Aside from a few well-timed stage quips from performers about the lack of suds, few in the audience seemed perturbed by the no-alcohol policy.

Music was the day's main attraction.

An estimated crowd of 80,000 country fans sang and danced along to a full roster of artists - from newcomer and Kalamazoo native Kyle Jennings to popular headliners Big and Rich.

Inside is a rundown of the day's acts from Press reporter (and country music fan) Rachael Recker.

Kyle Jennings

Stage time: 40 minutes

Highlight: With a voice that seemed to emanate from the bowels of the earth, singer/songwriter Jennings kicked things off Saturday with a moving rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner." Clad in ripped jeans, a tight "Rolling Stones" T-shirt and the standard white Stetson, the movin' and groovin' Kalamazoo native -- described by fans as "fine," "hot" and "cute" -- galloped around stage, coaxing Birthday Bashers out of their morning grogginess with personalized waves and free T- shirts. Besides the endearing, rapid-fire open/shut hand waves, Jennings' moment came when he pulled out and read a fan's e-mail in which she described how her son, Sgt. Timothy Moore, who is stationed in Iraq, planned to listen to the concert live via the Internet. "Why don't you say we raise some hell for them?" exclaimed Jennings after reading the emotional message.

Crowd reaction: Newcomer Kyle Jennings took the 80,000 plus bashers by storm and was noted by many to have "stolen the show."

The little-known Jennings was able to spark a sleeping crowd into action with his first number, "Little Miss Hard to Handle,". He brought the crowd back to life with his latest single, "Shine," to finish his set.

Grade: A-

Phil Vassar

Stage time: 35 minutes

Highlight: The piano man hit his strongest note when he pulled up in an SUV then stood at the piano to sing "I'll Take That As a Yes," lovingly known to fans as "The Hottub Song." Jumping on his piano at one point, Vassar -- the event's surprise guest -- continued the set with a slew of singles, including "Just Another Day In Paradise," "Next 30 Years," "Little Bit of Love" and "Six-Pack Summer."

Low point: With little movement and crowd interaction compared to Jennings' show, it also was too short of a set for a well-known country act.

Crowd reaction: Excitement never ceased as a string of fast- paced hit singles escalated crowd enthusiasm throughout the set.

Grade: B


Stage time: 40 minutes

Highlight: The group's most popular tunes, "Something More" and "Baby Girl," revived the languid crowd, uniting female audience members in a bond of sisterhood at the very end of the set. Sugarland's enthusiastic frontwoman Jennifer Nettles got most of the gathered crowd to wave from side to side.

Low point: By starting with U2's "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," Sugarland may have done their set in.

The slow cover kept the ball rolling for the afternoon, albeit slowly.

Crowd reaction: Perhaps they were saving their energy for highly anticipated acts Cowboy Troy and Big and Rich.

Maybe it was just the weird time of day. Whatever the case, the crowd remained fairly apathetic to the solid, but low-crowd- involvement afternoon set.

Grade: B+

Cowboy Troy

Stage time: 30 minutes

Highlight: This cowboy can dance, and he didn't mind showing off his skills. His final two songs, "I Play Chicken With the Train" and "Last Yeehaw," sparked life into the demused crowd. A lot of life.

Low point: A little less talk and a lot more action seemed to be the theme. With honed dance moves and continuous music, the newcomer offered little information. Who are you, Cowboy Troy?

Crowd reaction: Ambivalent. A large opening cheer faded to what seemed like a preoccupation for the next act. Unsure of what to do with the self-proclaimed "hick-hop" artist, the crowd was lost in the mix.

Grade: C-

Big and Rich

Stage time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Highlight: "Big Time" drew an amazing amount of energy and crowd participation. No other act drew that kind of enthusiasm. Their musical and crowd pleasing abilities are a deadly combination. "Holy Water" galvanized the audience into one, big anti-abuse squadron.

Quality themes of the night?

"Love" and "Happy Time" as stated on Big Kenny's hat and shirt, respectively.

Low point: There wasn't one to be honest.

Crowd reaction: Incredible. Right before they came on stage everyone was on their feet.

Grade: A

(Additional reviews from the B-93 Birthday Bash)


The mother/daughter duo of Judy and Jessica Linfield, Grass Lake residents, knew how to grab the attention of country acts performing on stage. They made neon orange, pink and green - Grand Rapids Press


Album - "Long Black Cadillac" released January 1st 2008 - Dark Horse Records Nashville (Independent)

Single - "Long Black Cadillac" going for radio adds on 3/13/08.

Testing - "Long Black Cadillac" will be market tested on 103.3 WKDF tonight (2/20/08) at 7:37pm.

Album - "SHINE" released March 2, 2004 - Dark Horse Records - (Independent)

Single - "You Can Hear The Ryman Cry" spent a month atop 98.5 Fm WNWN's most requested songs chart. "You Can Hear The Ryman Cry" receives regular airplay on numerous stations throughout the U.S. and was placed at #62 on the Top 100 Songs of 2004 by, the largest web-based radio network , ahead of Keith Urban's "You're My Better Half", Kenny Chesney's "The Woman With You", and Gretchen Wilson's "Redneck Woman"



In the spring of 2004 Jennings teamed up with producer and pedal steel master Bruce Bouton for his first independent release entitled “Shine” which garnered the attention of music critics and independent music label Dark Horse Records. While on the newly formed independent label, Jennings experienced regional radio success with his song “You Can Hear The Ryman Cry” and worldwide songwriting recognition when his song “Can I Run In The Dark (and Still Walk In the Light)” was chosen as 1 of 13 finalists out of 40,000 entries at the 2005 International Songwriting Competition.

Riveting high-energy live performances laced with a unique personal delivery make Jennings a natural entertainer on stage. His devoted willingness to create opportunities to meet with his followers along with a rock solid collection of well-written material presents Jennings with a hard-core loyal fan base.

As an artist Jennings embraces the roots of the traditional foundation he grew up with, while pursuing a more progressive traditional country flare. Cross-genre influences like Bon Jovi, Rob Thomas, and Nickelback personify the profound lyrical standard he demands of in his own material, while traditional country icons such as Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and George Jones secure his stronghold in country music.

His poignant and poetic lyrical compositions are rare for an artist his age; yet still seem to be in the early stages of development. Covering a broad spectrum of topics Jennings isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty when it comes to his music.

Nothing looms over an artist like the pressure of a sophomore release. 3 years after the release of Jennings’ debut independent project “Shine”, Dark Horse Records Nashville released Jennings’ follow-up record “Long Black Cadillac” which is nothing short of a masterpiece. Dynamic production and extraordinary songwriting carries listeners through an album full of emotions and musical styles that range from old school traditional country on songs like “Sometimes The Best Memories (Aren’t Memories At All)” and “Northern Lights and Southern Comfort” to blues to aggressive and progressive guitar driven anthem tunes such as the title-track “Long Black Cadillac”.

Many artists experience the strain of establishing longevity by trying to equal their debut efforts with their follow-up projects; Jennings’ has only become more seasoned and like a fine wine has gotten better with age. At 29 he wrote or co-wrote 14 out of 16 tracks on “Long Black Cadillac” and self co-produced the record with friend and guitar-whiz Kevin Post. He released his second project on his own independent label (Dark Horse Records Nashville) and has answered the call of the sophomore curse with a brilliant vigor.

Although Jennings’ has made a name for himself as an electric high-energy performer, select ballads on the album offer insight to a softer side of Jennings. “Where You’ll Find Me” is an intimate journey through the unique idiosyncrasies that make each woman special to her man and promises “in anything that you can think of that makes your spirit free, that’s where you’ll find me”. “This Getting’ Over You” is a storm of painful emotions wrapped up in a steel guitar driven track and “No Place Like Home” is like a comfortable visit to an old familiar place.

16 powerhouse tracks make-up a rare project music-wide and notably the last track of the record pays homage to the courage and resolve of American servicemen and women in a musical memorial titled “Free To Leave”.

Jennings continues to get better and better and shows no signs of slowing down. There are already talks of a new record for ’09 and Jennings has already started writing for a new project. You can get more information on Kyle and his music online at or .

In his young career Jennings has opened major concerts for acts like Toby Keith, Big & Rich, Tracy Lawrence, Styx, Kansas, Blake Shelton, Mark Chesnutt, Tracy Byrd, Lila McCann, Daryl Worley, Jessi Alexander, Keith Anderson, Sugarland, Phil Vassar, and the legendary Hank Williams Jr. to name a few.

Kyle Jennings brings not only raw, pure talent, but he brings honesty, integrity, and an all-american charm to the stage.

Kyle Jennings is a refreshing step back into the future of traditional country music.

Personal Stats:
Birthdate: June 9, 1978
Birthplace: Kalamazoo, Michigan
Height: 5' 7"
Weight:180 lbs.
Hair: Usually short, brown
Siblings: Brother Troy, sister Kimberly
Hobbies: Kyle enjoys family, eating, Hunting, Fishing, Ice Hockey, Golf, Physical Fitness, and the companionship of his Chocolate Lab, Bauer.