Rob Kendt
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Rob Kendt


Band Pop Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Review of "I'm Not Sentimental""

“This singer-songwriter out of Brooklyn, New York has really come into his own on this disc…Kendt offers everything from a country shuffle (’Pick Me’) to a surprisingly coherent lounge mash-up of Britney and the Beatles (’Oops I Did Bungalow Bill’). All the while he recalls veteran tunesmiths like Elvis Costello and Randy Newman.� - HEAR/SAY

"Review of L.A. show"

“Kendt’s songs are each lovely works of literature, wonderfully constructed short stories, the likes of which you would expect to find in The New Yorker… He makes each song seem like a tale he’s telling just for you.� - ROCK CITY NEWS

"Review of L.A. show"

“A little Brecht and Weill, a touch of Cole Porter, a hint of Randy Newman… Kendt performs tunes that vividly express a wide range of emotions, driven by simple but profound lyrics… smoothly filtered through his potent but easygoing singing style.� - FRONTIERS

"Preview of N.Y. appearance"

“[Kendt] plays that good old singer/songwriter style music… sort of Tom Waits meets a (lively) Damien Jurado in a country bar over a pint and a piano style that holds all the emotion without the sappy camp… He also plays piano mash-ups which are awesome.� - FREENYC.NET

"Review of L.A. show"

“Imagine a lively quartet… crowded on a stage at the end of a packed room, playing spirited but steady jazz behind a goateed guy in a suit speaking lyrics a step or two away from Beat poetry before sitting down at an upright to throw in his own melodious riffs. A vague approximation of the effect is Tom Waits if he’d never smoked-rich but battered images over a slightly dissonant, swinging background.� - WOLFESDEN.NET

"Review of L.A. show"

“There wasn’t so much a performance per se as there was a communication with the audience. Kendt displayed a country boy warmth that engaged the crowd… making it seem as if everyone were old friends sharing a good ole time.� - MUSIC CONNECTION


i hope it's me (Ruby Records, 2002)

I'm Not Sentimental (Ruby Records, Oct., 2007)



Rob Kendt's day job has been as a theater critic for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Village Voice, Time Out New York, Newsday, Variety, Back Stage West, and That may be why Rob Kendt's music, even at its most cooking, has a narrative and theatrical sensibility that has earned him comparisons to Elvis Costello, Rufus Wainwright, and Randy Newman.

"I grew up listening to Broadway cast albums, then went through the obligatory Beatles phase," says Kendt, who lives in Brooklyn and regularly plays clubs both in his home borough and in Manhattan. "Then I got sidetracked by folk and Elvis Costello, and finally Kurt Weill, which I guess sort of brings it all full circle."

These diverse influences help explain Kendt's eclectic sound. "Some people find it hard to classify," he admits.

"There's some country and Americana in there, some indie rock and power pop, and of course when I'm on the piano I guess I sound a bit like a lounge singer or a cabaret guy."

Indeed, if Kendt's varying styles seem like a roster of roles he's playing, that’s not too far off the mark. "I've always been fascinated by the ways pop music can work as drama," he explains, "and I've always been more interested in writing characters, like Randy Newman or David Byrne, than in plumbing my own soul—though, as any playwright or actor could tell you, that exploration happens anyway. Even when writing about killers or cads or freaks, you can't write anything but your own story, ultimately."

Kendt's first solo album, I Hope It's Me (Ruby, 2002), captured his work with the L.A. pub rock quartet Millhouse, which performed regularly at such venues as 14 Below and The Gig and opened for Dave Wakeling, Mike Watt, and Dread Zeppelin. As an L.A.-based solo artist, he played at The Mint (opening for Louise Goffin and Brother), Fais Do-Do, Les Freres Taix, and Highland Grounds. Since relocating to Brooklyn he's played the Zipper Theatre, Pete's Candy Store, Bar Nine, Night & Day, and Birdland. He's also had a thriving side career composing and performing music for theater at such venues as the Evidence Room, The Mark Taper Forum, Pacific Resident Theatre, The Globe Theatre, and the Metropolitan Playhouse. He's also an active member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop.

His new record, I'm Not Sentimental, recorded in L.A., New York, Chicago, and Nashville, includes the exuberant piano stomp of the title track, featuring Tommy Morgan of Pet Sounds and Rockford Files fame on harmonica; the sleek bossa "Quiet Girl," featuring Bebel Gilberto sideman Danny Frankel on percussion; the country shuffle "Pick Me" and a lounge mash-up of Britney and the Beatles, "Oops I Did Bungalow Bill," both featuring Lyle Lovett and Bill Frisell's bassist, Viktor Krauss; the sprawling "Graded on a Curve," featuring L.A. guitar madman Carey Fosse, and a French-café rendition of The Motels' "Only the Lonely," featuring J’Anna Jacoby, the fiddler for Rod Stewart, and diva Abby Travis.

Produced by drummer extraordinaire Matt North (Hail the Size, Andy Prieboy, Mink Stole) and mastered by Mike Hagler (Wilco, The New Pornographers, Neko Case), I'm Not Sentimental is eclectic in scope but consistent in its production sound and authorial voice. Like an anthology of short stories, Rob Kendt's new record reads as well as it rocks.