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…
#3: Bernie Worrell via Talking Heads
Seriously, from ages 17 to 21 I went a bit psychotic over the Talking Heads. This band was my high school obsession. You know, the time in your life where you kind of find an identity based on the scene you are in and music you listen to? It was not until I saw Stop Making Sense that I really got hooked. I dug in deep. I got every recording I could find and listened until the grooves on the vinyl wore out (records were large discs that would play music, they predate the modern CD). I then followed the musical genealogy of the separate band members from The Tom Tom Club to The Modern Lovers to Bernie Worrell and Parliament. It was the sounds and the groove that Bernie brought to the Heads’ music that most likely made me like them in the first place. I was discovering funk from the back door. Maybe not the back door, but some sort of super white, geeky, artsy side entrance. Some of those songs had great moments. “Life During War Time” and its super funky Clavinet and wailing prophet tones made my head turn. What the hell was making those sounds? Parliament was a later addition for me, and although Bernie was an integral part of those tunes, I kept falling back to his work with the Heads for funky inspiration.
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! – SOLD OUT!