The Rhythm Kings Detroit
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The Rhythm Kings Detroit

Waterford, Michigan, United States | SELF

Waterford, Michigan, United States | SELF
Band R&B Funk


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The best kept secret in music


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Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Byron Cancelmo - Vocals

Byron Cancelmo was born September 6, 1968. Byron's interest in music began at the early age of two. His first memories are of singing to his mother in their car. To this day, his passion still remains strong ... he never turns down an opportunity to sing.

Byron has varied experience and training in music. In high school, he sang and played the guitar for four years. Following high school, he sang in the bass section of the Assumption Worcester College choir from 1992 - 1995. In 1994, Byron toured throughout Italy with the choir. The tour included a performance for Pope John Paul II at the Vatican. Byron also took classical voice lessons from 1993 -1995.

In 1993, Byron founded the cover/original band, Mr. Hyde. During the four years he was lead singer with the band, they professionally recorded eight original songs. They also performed live at Sir Morgan's Cove, Mama Kins (the Aerosmith owned club in Boston), and Plantation Club.

From 1997 - 1998, Byron was lead singer for Isengard, an originals only band. They performed live at clubs in Massachusetts (Worcester, Amherst, Boston and surrounding cities) and Rhode Island. Isengard also professionally recorded 12 original songs and performed acoustically during a live radio broadcast in 1997 (94.1FM HJY, Providence, Rhode Island).

Byron's first child was born in 1998 and at that time he began focusing more on family and his work in sales and marketing. He continued, however, to pursue opportunities in music/voice work during his free time. In 2002, he had voice over training with Jane Schaffmaster and he did several voice over projects. He worked with RMS Productions in Birmingham, Michigan, singing "Tool Box Hero", a parody of "Juke Box Hero" by Foreigner, for a Ford Motor Company industrial ad. He did a voice over for the Kanter Creative, Inc. company CD. Additionally, he did a Comcast tag as well as other voice over/fill-in actor work for the Talent Shop in Bingham Farms, Michigan.

From 2002-current Byron works with his friend Russ Epker, an accomplished guitarist and song writer. Russ has toured nationally with Ted Nugent, opened for Bon Jovi, and performed with well known Detroit artists Robert Bradley, General Clusterfunk, and Bittersweet Alley. Together, Byron and Russ have a wide array of experience and Have developed developing a CD of 14 original songs and are continuing to write and record new music.

November 2009 Byron is the Front man of The Rhythm Kings, a Michigan based 8 piece Dance band comprised of premium local players of brass, bass, drums string and Keys and Backing Vocals.

Russ Epker - Acoustic & Electric Guitar

Russ Epker was born on July 25, 1960. His parents introduced him to music at an early age by exposing him to their extensive record collection. From age 5, Russ was a student at Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. The private school offered daily lessons in music - singing, and playing glockenspiel and the recorder. At age 10, Russ began playing the coronet and he played it throughout high school at concerts and with the marching band.

Russ was introduced to the guitar at 14. He took guitar lessons for one year with Dan Mayer, guitarist for The Sun Messengers. Russ then played with the band Exodus from 1975 - 1978. They performed at numerous high school "Battle of the Bands" concerts and private parties. One party was particularly memorable for Russ - approximately 2,000 people attended from five area high schools to watch Exodus and friendly rival band, Paradise, play. The drummer for Paradise was Chad Smith (of Red Hot Chili Peppers). Chad remains good friends with Russ today. In fact, Chad helped Russ to launch the band General Clusterfunk in the mid 1990's.

During the mid to late 1980's, Russ played with Bitter Sweet Alley, a Detroit band. They backed up the likes of Joe Walsh, Bon Jovi, and many other famous acts. Shortly after, Russ began playing with an offshoot band of Bitter Sweet Alley - Skeleton Crew. Skeleton Crew was an all acoustic band and it placed 3rd (out of 150 bands) on Ed McMahon's television show Star Search.

As mentioned previously, Russ founded the band General Clusterfunk during the 1990's. General Clusterfunk won the Best Michigan Band contest in 1994. The contest was sponsored by none other than Ted Nugent. The band then went on to do a short tour with Mr. Nugent and played New Year's Eve at Cobo Hall in Detroit.

In 2000, Russ was recruited to tour with R&B singer Robert Bradley. Robert Bradley had a record deal with Vanguard Records (owned and operated by the family of the famed Lawrence Welk) in Santa Monica, California. Russ toured with Robert Bradley for four years. The tour schedule consisted of three weeks on and one week off. They headlined and shared the bill with many of today's best acts, performing all over the U.S. at large outdoor arenas as well as small intimate venues.

While Russ toured with Robert Bradley's Bl