Pete Kilpatrick Band
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Pete Kilpatrick Band

Portland, Maine, United States | SELF

Portland, Maine, United States | SELF
Band Folk Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Pete Kilpatrick Band plays Vail"


VAIL, Colorado — The Pete Kilpatrick band hails from Portland — Maine, not Oregon — and it will be in Vail Friday night. The five-piece indie band is opening for Meese Friday night at the free Teva Mountain Games Mountain of Music concert.

Kilpatrick took some time to answer some questions, including his connection to the Kings of Leon, what people can expect from the band's live show and the music he's been blasting on his iPod lately.

Vail Daily: Did Kings of Leon really say you guys have ‘killer sound'? Have you met those guys or opened for them or something?

Pete Kilpatrick: Yeah, this is a true story. Singer/songwriter Ray Lamontagne is also from Portland, Maine and after doing a show with him a few years back I gave him a copy of our second album “Yesterday Love.” About a month later I got an e-mail from the Kings Of Leon's manager, who had been given our CD by Ethan Johns (Ray and KOL's producer). Ray had passed it along to him, who then gave it to the Kings of Leon. Their manager wanted to pass along the message to us that the guys were all loving the album and were currently listening to it while on tour.

VD: How do you describe your sound?

PK: I would consider us “acoustic rock” with a hint of alt-country and folk. The bands I think we're most easily comparable to are Coldplay, TRAVIS and Guster.

VD: What can people expect from your live show?

PK: We take a lot of pride in our live performances and also love the challenge of trying to win people over and turn them into future fans. Our songs for the most part are shorter pop/rock songs, although we tend to jam them out a bit live, usually with some guitar and piano solos.

VD: How do you keep your material fresh?

PK: I keep the songs fresh by generally using the first idea that comes to mind while developing parts for any particular song. I'm a firm believer that the first instinct is usually the one that ends up being the strongest. I've tried different approaches to songwriting, but I've mostly found that sticking to this formula works the best for me.

VD: What other musicians have influenced you? What have you been listening to lately?

RK: I've been influenced a great deal by songwriters who are incredible storytellers as well such as James Taylor, Cat Stevens, Dave Matthews, Neil Young, Jackson Browne and Josh Rouse. My iPod has been blasting the new Fray record a lot lately as well as Bon Iver's new stuff, which is incredibly haunting and I absolutely love.

VD: Do you write the songs? Tell me about the most recent song you wrote and what inspired it?

PK: I write most of the songs and the guys all write their parts over my acoustic guitar and vocals. The most recent song I wrote is actually about our last trip to Colorado and how the altitude caused our lungs to feel like they were being sat on by an elephant. It's still a work in progress!

VD: Have you performed in Vail before? Are you playing anywhere else in Colorado while you're here?

PK: We've never played in Vail and we're really looking forward to it! I played at the ESPN X Games in Aspen back in January and thought it would be so nice to see Colorado in the summertime. We're flying in Thursday, performing Friday, and then flying back home Saturday to perform with Dar Williams back in Maine on Sunday.
- Vail Daily

"Pete Kilpatrick Sure Has Something Figured Out"


Pete Kilpatrick sure has something figured out – and that's rare around here. He's absolutely crushing it in pop mainstream, while somehow staying grounded through it all.

His music is patient and conveys simple, timeless truths, which explains his now-undeniable widespread appeal to the people in the Port. Folks want their Maine lives to sound like Pete Kilpatrick songs, long on romance, sunny and ephemeral.

Despite the ever-accelerating rising star, Kilpatrick is thrilled to share his excitement about the new Port City Music Hall, as much as the owners want to herald his Sept. 11 gig on their stage (get tickets at It's a wonderfully natural symbiosis – Portland and Pete.

Kilpatrick needs his endless August days, complete with a sea gull's cry, to make music that resonates. We, lost in the music, just need our rock royalty to be as easygoing as the tides.

You spent your adolescence in the great state of Maine. What's the best song you've ever written in a decidedly Maine spot? Why did that place move you to write the song?

Pete Kilpatrick: I write most of my songs at home, but the majority of the songs written for the last record, "Hope in Our Hearts," were written up on the Eastern Prom park during the spring of '08. Us Portlanders are so fortunate to have that area up there. It's breathtaking, and was also designed by the same dude who designed Central Park in NYC. I kayak out there a lot, and it's very inspiring.

The hardest thing about being a singer/songwriter is the intensity of the spotlight. What have you learned with all the attention? What tips do you have for rising solo songwriters who aspire to one day lead a band?

I've learned that it's very humbling when people come up and say "hi" to me. A lot of musicians don't like to be bothered, but I think it's the nicest thing ever to have a stranger say hello and talk about music with me. The biggest tip I have for songwriters is to stay persistent and keep focused on your goals and what you're trying to accomplish. The music industry can be a very cold place, and it's important to make music for yourself and not worry so much about anything else.

Who do you like in the singer/songwriter game right now and why? Who among local troubadours? Who, say in the '90s when you were coming up, really had your ear?

As far as national singer/songwriters go, I really love Bon Iver's stuff. He's got such a beautifully eerie sound that's really hard to describe. Everyone should check him out! I also really love Ray LaMontagne, Brett Dennen and Damien Rice. As far as the local scene goes, the three songwriters that I absolutely love are Marie Moreshead, Dan Connor of Gypsy Tailwind and Hutch Heelan. These three writers are all extremely different from one another and all are extremely talented. Growing up in the '90s, I listened to a lot of James Taylor, Dave Matthews Band, Salt-n-Pepa and Boyz II Men. (Laughs)

Talk about the gig where you first looked around and said "Hey, maybe, just maybe, I could do this full-time?"

I think the first time I really thought that this could be a full-time thing was back in November of 2006. We opened for Guster at UMaine Orono at the Maine Center for the Arts. There were over 2,000 people there, and we played one of our best shows ever. We ended up selling over 250 CDs that night, and had a great response. That's when I fully realized that we could really have a shot at doing this full-time.

How have you evolved from writing tunes as a senior at York High?

I think people just grow and learn from their experiences in life, and all of those things factor into good songwriting. When I was 16 and writing, it was mostly to impress the pretty girls in my home economics class. Now I try and write from the heart and make music that has a meaningful impact on people.

As a Portland mainstay, how do you feel about the spankin' new Port City Music Hall?

I think it's the best venue in Portland, hands down. It reminds me a lot of the old Avalon in Boston with a more laid-back feel. The fact that they have Jim Begley as the house sound guy automatically has my vote as one of the best-sounding rooms in New England.

Who has helped you get to where you are?

I would have to say the two people who have really helped me get to where I am now are Jon Wyman and Spencer Albee. Jon has produced and mixed all four of my records, and has really helped me grow both as a performer and a songwriter. I'm so grateful that I've had the pleasure of making four records with him. Spencer really took me under his wing when I first moved to Portland. He had me open countless shows for both Rocktopus and As Fast As, and helped me think outside the box with my songwriting. I really began to establish my name in Portland thanks to these two guys lending me a hand.

- Portland Press Herald

"PKB's New Album "Shapes and Sounds""


The first song on the Pete Kilpatrick Band’s new Shapes and Sounds EP might be called “Dear July,” but the five-song work is clearly an ode to winter, to its delicious melancholy and the joys of finding cozy corners in overheated bars or naked bodies under six or seven blankets. Paired with Jonathan Wyman’s warm production, equally kind to throaty electric guitar solos and crystalline piano breaks, Kilpatrick’s inclinations produce a soporific effect, like getting boozy in a wool sweater next to a raging fire.

Kilpatrick has largely held his band together since last year’s Hope in Our Hearts, losing only lead guitarist Zack Jones in the meantime (he was at one point replaced with Nick Goodale, and he’s here stop-gapped by Ryan McCalmon and Wyman), and the sound of the Band continues to sound more organic and lush. “Feel It,” whence comes the title lyric, sprawls out to 5:25, but never feels close to long. Kilpatrick has an increasingly relaxed delivery and the band matches him, letting the song pour forth like so much smoke from the top of a chimney, with a particularly nice organ break from Steve Morell. “The weatherman in New England is never right,” Kilpatrick sings with a world-weariness, “he’ll say it’s snow, but here’s the sun again.”

Morell also shines on “July,” where his piano is achingly sweet, with Matt Cosby thumping along a lyrical bass accompaniment.

There’s a new wrinkle for this disc, too, in the person of Marie Moreshead, with whom Kilpatrick trades verses on the winsome “City’s Beating Heart,” where two lovers meet at a rock show. “I met her after midnight,” Kilpatrick breathes, “as the band was plugging in/My winter hat matched the color of her eyes.”

“He was looking at me across a crowded room,” Moreshead returns, “and it was dark but I swear I saw his light shining through.”

Okay, it’s a tad corny, but it’s just the kind of change-up Kilpatrick needs to make the release stand out, and it’s a decidedly different sound for Moreshead: less dainty, more throaty, coming down in the register to match Kilpatrick’s key and delivery. And, anyway, she’s just returning the favor Kilpatrick extended by guesting on her “Hello There,” from the Birdwatchers EP.

She also adds some backing work on the excellently moody “Rock and Roll Never Changes,” where Matt Lydon opens with deep-seated drums, heavy on the kick and the toms, and “we dance by the light of the moon till morning comes/But I don’t know how to feel, our wires are all crossed.” It’s a story of love unrequited, or maybe left untried: “Call you back and say, ‘rock and roll never changes’/But I left your number on the floor/In the back of a beat up cab wishing I had the guts to face my fears/When did all the good time girls go home?”

You might ask, too, where the good-time, sunshiney Pete Kilpatrick went after the first run through Shapes and Sounds, but I can assure you he’s just in brief hibernation.
- Portland Phoenix

"Pete Kilpatrick Band (USA)"

July 21, 2010: Pete Kilpatrick Band (United States)

This alternative folk rock group from the distant and beautiful state of Maine, bordering Canada, has that suburban sensibility, that clarity and sweetness sometimes so necessary after a hard day's work.

Listening to them is like listening to the most soothing white noise. They fade in and out in a convenient way, but still leave an impression of contentment unlike many other bands out there. Soothing guitars, lead vocals, and cohesive drums round out this local favorite.

Our mood just changed for the better after 10 minutes of their album. Having played with Dave Matthews Band and Ray Lamontagne, they've won Maine's Best Local Act in 2006, 2007, and 2009, and Best Male Vocalist for 2008 and 2009 deservingly so.

Songs we recommend you listen to: "The World in a Fishtank" and "Hope in our Hearts."


Half Way Home-2003
Yesterday Love-2005
Louder Than the Storm-2006
Hope in our Hearts-2008
Shapes and Sounds-2009



The Pete Kilpatrick Band hails from Portland,Maine. The band is comprised of acoustic and electric guitars as well as keyboard, bass, and drums. The group has often been described as a folk singer/songwriter with a Rock and Roll Band. Pete's lyrics are reflective of his coastal upbringing as many of the songs revolve around natural landscapes as well as life experiences. The band puts a great deal of time into crafting each song and this has undoubtedly lead to five regionally successful albums and over 800 performances within the past eight years.

The band takes great pride in what they've been able to accomplish in this time due to the fact that almost everything they've accomplished has been done without the support of a traditional record label. The band books all their own shows, and acts as manager, all while writing and producing their albums.

Pete, Matt, Ed, Tyler, and Pete have many influences ranging from Death Cab for Cutie, The Swell Season, Matt Pond PA, Ryan Adams, Coldplay, Stevie Wonder, Pink Floyd, Kings of Leon, Phoenix, Brett Dennen, Guster, Bon Iver, and Iron and Wine, to name a few.

The band has been writing, recording, and touring since 2003 and have released five albums to date which have sold over 25,000 copies independently.

They've played at the ESPN Winter X-games in Aspen, Colorado, and have been featured in the hit arcade video game Golden Tee alongside Dave Matthews Band, Switchfoot, and Gomez. The group is very diverse and dynamic and have been able to find success in many different markets (festivals, colleges, bars, coffeehouses) for a wide ranging audience.

They've shared the stage with Dave Matthews Band, Guster, Barenaked Ladies, Spoon, G Love, Blues Traveler, The Wailers, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Brett Dennen, Yonder Mountain String Band, Ray Lamontagne, and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.


-Best Singer/Songwriter Nominee-Boston Music Awards 2005,2006

-Best New Act- Portland Phoenix Best Music Poll-2003
-Best Jam Act-Portland Phoenix Best Music Poll-2005
-Best Act-Portland Phoenix Best Music Poll-2006
-Best Pop/Rock Act-Portland Phoenix Best Music Poll-2006
-Best Act-Portland Phoenix Best Music Poll-2007
-Best Male Vocalist-Portland Phoenix Best Music Poll-2008
-Best Act-Portland Phoenix Best Music Poll-2009
-Best Male Vocalist-Portland Phoenix Best Music Poll-2009
-Best Act-2010-Portland Phoenix Best Music Poll
-Best Male Vocalist-2010-Portland Phoenix Best Music Poll

-2003 Boston Idol Winner through Mix 98.5 (station with over 1 million listeners)

-2006 Starbucks Northeast finalist in Songwriting Competition

-2007 Ourstage Reverbnation Grandprize winner (won record deal with Epic Records and guitar contract with First Act Guitars)

-Song "Coming Home" Featured on NBC's show "Outlaw" featuring Jimmy Smits

-Song "Apartment Hall" featured on MTV's Real World/Road Rules Challenge

- In December of 2010 VH1 aired the PKB's video for the song "Coming Home." The video can be seen on the main page of