Hoppy Holidays Countdown

In anticipation of Hoppy Holidays, I will be counting down the top five keyboardists whom have had the most influence on my playing. I’ll post a different artist every few days between now and the first day of Hoppy Holidays: Friday, December 10th.

I am often asked to name the most influential keyboardists in my life. I usually just rattle off my favorites from then and now, but I wanted to really take a look at who influenced my playing. I didn’t want to select just keyboard players that I admire and study, but those that have made an impact on my performance and writing. So I scanned my iTunes library and dug up my old cassettes from the basement and this is what it came down to…

#5: Stevie Wonder

Growing up, my family was the Bob Dylan and Peter, Paul and Mary-type crowd, nothing musically challenging, just good songs with lyrically provoking themes. Of course, the Beatles were right in there as well, but the R & B and Motown sound didn’t really make it through our door. It came down to me looking outside my family’s genre to find new music. By the time I was in high school, I was listening to the Talking Heads and discovering new sounds, such as African rhythms through the albums Remain In Light and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts and funk from Bernie Worrell and Parliament. This road eventually wound its way through Billy Preston and The Meters into Ray Charles and landed on Stevie Wonder. It was not just Stevie’s soulful playing, but also the songwriting that hooked me in. Tunes like “You Haven’t Done Nothing” and “Higher Ground” spoke to my sense of funk, but also to my feelings on social consciousness. And I loved the quality of those recordings, so raw and so much energy. And his voice has such great versatility, I enjoyed all the nuances that decorated the ends of his phrases. Stevie was able to bridge my early pop influences with some real soul and lead me in a new direction musically and compositionally.

Hoppy Holidays
12/10 Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom | Denver, CO – KHB feat. DJ Logic & Liza Oxnard w/The Nu Classics plus signature beer by Kyle and Boulder Beer
12/11 Hodi’s Half Note | Fort Collins, CO – KHB feat. DJ Logic & Liza Oxnard w/the Nu Classics plus signature beer by Kyle and Boulder Beer
12/12 Avery Brewing Co. | Boulder, CO – KHB plus signature beer by Kyle and Avery Brewing and much, much, more!

For more information on Hoppy Holidays and to purchase tickets go to www.kylehollingsworth.com/ontour

About these ads

7 responses to “Hoppy Holidays Countdown

  1. Wow, with Stevie as #5, its scary who could top that. I’ll take a wild shot and guess it’s Liberace in the #1 seat?

  2. Insightful, can’t wait for the next post! Or for Hoppy Holidays!

  3. Anthony Banks….Rick Wakeman….these two have got to make it!

  4. Will Gregg Allman make this list? Or is his sound too inside the greater Allman Brothers Band sound? Great reading Kyle. YOU are one of MY influences!

  5. Since others are submitting guesses, I’ll throw in Melvin Seals. It may appear that he tours with a standard B3 but he brings the whole damn church! Cool tour concept, Kyle.

  6. Kyle:
    Always dig your playing style and it’s nice to get your input on your influences! I actually just finished a novel about piano players which you may enjoy and would love for you to check it out – http://jawrite.wordpress.com
    I look forward to seeing if Bill Evans makes your list…

  7. I HOPE NICKY HOPKINS MAKES THIS LIST EVEN THOUGH HES NOT NECESSARILY A KEYBOARD PLAYER BUT IM SURE HE COULD MAKE HIS FINGERS DANCE ON THAT TOO. Check out Jerry Garcia bands Let It Rock, Nicky tears it up

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s