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"Helena Week in review"

Last weekend there was wonderful variety of music around Helena. Alexa Rankin and Duncan King performed rock in front of Wildflower Wax in Old Town - cbs 42

"2010 La Reunion Idol is… Alexa Rankin"

Congratulations to Alexa Rankin, 2010 La Reunion
Idol, selected by a panel of judges and
the audience. She endured six weeks of tough
competition before being selected the 2010 Idol last
month. In addition to the title, Alexa received a onehour
voice lesson with Erin Trapolino of Old Towne
Music in Helena and a free demo CD courtesy of Andrew
Henderson’s Lost in Sound Studio. - Helena News

"Helena Teen voted top drummer in national contest"

Duncan King began beating his mom's pots and pans about the time he could walk, then got his first real drum set at age 7.

The Helena 15-year-old's early interest in percussion paid off recently when he was chosen as the top drummer in the national Online Rock Solo Contest held by Camp Jam, a music education program for people ages 7 to 17 that gives them the opportunity to play in a rock band.

Camp Jam weeklong camps are held in 17 cities throughout the country, including Birmingham, Chicago and Houston, and several thousand children attend each year, said Dan Lipson, chief executive officer.

The camps are set up by age groups and participants are divided into bands according to their level of talent and experience, Lipson said.

Throughout the week, each band works on one song with the guidance of local music instructors and Camp Jam representatives.

Lipson said the camps' curriculum includes instruction on songwriting, home recording, stage presence and individual instruments and requires a significant amount of rehearsal time on stage.

"At the end of the week, each band performs for family and friends," he said. "It's all about getting kids comfortable being in a band and learning about teamwork."

Duncan, who is the son of Jan and Frank King, said he remembers taking a serious interest in the drums after seeing a Korean percussion group.

He attended two Camp Jams at Shades Valley High School before submitting his drum performance video to the Online Rock Solo Contest.

Lipson said the contest judges were all professionals who worked or played with well-known rock personalities or bands. The judges were Vinny Appice, drummer for Dio and Black Sabbath; Jan Smith, vocal coach for Justin Beiber and Usher; Jeff Adams, bass player for Starship; Phil Bennett, keyboardist for Starship; and Ricky Byrd, guitarist for Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

Duncan, who won a Tama drum set for taking first place in the drumming category, said he intends to major in music in college and hopes to have a career as a professional musician.

While rock music is his favorite, he said he's open to any kind of good music, including classical.

"I think it would be cool to play the timpani in a symphony orchestra," Duncan said.

Meanwhile, he'll continue in the three bands in which he currently plays drums: The Alexa Rankin Band, Freedom or Fire, and the Alabama Blues Project Advanced Band of Tuscaloosa, a youth learning program.

While Hallie Jackson, a female vocalist from Richmond, Texas, was named the overall winner of the Camp Jam Online Rock Solo Contest, Duncan said he's not disappointed.

"I'm not that competitive about music competitions and this was a great experience," he said. "I'm excited about what I won and besides, the music is the most important thing."

Join the conversation by clicking to comment or e-mail Ogle at mogle@bhamnews.com.

- Birmingham News

"Duncan King-Drummer Extraordinaire"

Duncan King, a local teen drummer, has been selected as one of 15 finalists in Camp Jam’s “Battle of the Online Rock Solos” contest.

An interactive online music contest for kids ages 7-17, it allows contestants showcase their talent by uploading their rock solo video to YouTube and vie for prizes including a one-on-one jam session with a rock legend from their hometown and brand new instruments and gear.

To record his video for Camp Jam, King headed to Lost in Sound, the Helena studio of Andrew Henderson, who was one of the judges for Helena Idol at LaReunion.

As a top-15 winner, King received feedback from Liberty DiVitto, Billy Joel’s drummer for 30 years, and will present a final performance video, as will fellow finalists in guitar and vocalist categories.

“Duncan started playing on pots and pans before he could walk. He got a toy drum set at 5 and his first real one at 7. He played in the Steel De Boro band in Murfreesboro, Tenn., when he was 7,” said his mother, Jan King.

After the King family moved to Birmingham, he began working with John Scalici, taking lessons with him for the past five years and performing with him at UAB’s International Festival.

As a percussionist, he is proficient on drumset, hand drums and multi-cultural drums; he plays keyboard and recently began writing his own songs. He is expanding his abilities, learning guitar and dulcimer. And he notes inspiration from the style of drummer Zac Farro of the band Paramore.

“For me, it is not about fame. I play because I love it and enjoy the interaction that is generated playing for a crowd. One of my dreams is to tour internationally,” King said.

In February, King began an association with Alexa Rankin that led to their performing together. For their acoustical sets, he plays a cajon, which is essentially a drum set in a box.

He and Rankin co-wrote Victoria’s Song, which is one of five tunes on their promo CD due out in June, called Stacks of Paper.

He plays with the Alabama Blues Project Advanced Band and thus has had opportunity to perform with artists such as Willie King, Bettie Fikes and Eddie Kirkland. He has played with Cody West of Ages Apart and is a member of Freedom or Fire, a Christian rock group from Crossbridge Church.

King will play with The Alexa Rankin Band in venues around Birmingham this summer.

More info at: Sonicbids.com/AlexaRankinBand and Myspace.com/duncankingdrummer.

Laura Brookhart can be reached by e–mail at labro16@yahoo.com - Shelby County Reporter

"LEX- Live on Much noise acoustic"

LEX is an amazing band from birmingham AL. you will be singing their songs for days... This band is as good as any radio artist out there now. I hope some record rep hears them and gives them a shot. This is 1 of 3 songs from LEX, so keep and eye on our blog and their profile. MuchNoise.com/LEX - muchnoise.com

"Best of Birmingham 2010 Playlist"

Home > Arts > Best of 2010 Birmingham playlist, as picked by you!
Arts, City, Fun December 28, 2010
Best of 2010 Birmingham playlist, as picked by you!
By Wade Kwon, MCP editor View Comments

So many good songs, so many good musicians. We asked what you thought were the best tracks released this year by Birmingham artists, and you told us in nearly 30 responses!

So thank you, Magic Citizens. Here’s the playlist of our city for 2010! - magiccitypost.com

"La Reunion Idol"

http://www.shelbycountyreporter.com/news/2010/apr/17/la-reunion-idol-brews-talent/ - Shelby County Reporter

"Jammin at the Junction"

http://www.shelbycountyreporter.com/news/2009/oct/04/muddy-toes-junction/ - Shelby County Reporter


Lex-- Let It Out EP 2010-2011



Lex hit the ground running when singer/songwriter Alexa Rankin joined forces with drumming sensation Duncan King. The power and experience of Dave Rankin's lead electric guitar solidified the bands lineup.
Playing upbeat and emotional originals and a few well known covers they put on an entertaining and well rounded show that is enjoyed by audiences of all ages. Mixing genres from alternative country to punk pop/rock LEX has created a sound all their own. Playing the top venues and festivals in their hometown of Birmingham, AL in their first summer of touring LEX is now sharing their sound with the rest of the country.