“Well the show in pgh was awesome. KGB took it above and beyond. Once you guys took to the stage, the addictive toe tapping vibe from your tunes filled the room. You’d see patrons of all ages jamming and loving it. Sounds cheesy. But it was electrifying. The energy from your performance fueled the night for me. Had a lot of fun brotha.”- Royce Wong, KGB fan and KGB family!
Photography by Bea Chiapelli. Freelance Photographer, Pittsburgh, PA: www.beachiappelli.com
Live art by Touchfaster: http://touchfaster.com/
“Really fun first show. KGB’s live groove is hard-driving and expansive, but it seems to come out of a tight-knit, intuitive space. And it’s played out with the kind of brash intelligence that’s only afforded through some honest understanding of the traditions they’re playing from. My lady said she couldn’t remember the last time she boogied so hard — and that woman gets down all the time!”- Ryan Smith, Freelance photographer, Erie PA.
Contact Ryan here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Bringing a group of great people like KGB into the woods, and getting to experience living life to its max, is what were really all about. The band had almost as much fun as we did this past weekend experiencing the rich culture and history of the Jim Thrope area. Watching the looks on the bands face, as they got ejected from the raft was a priceless moment for me. I know anytime the Kalob Griffin Band wants to come back, our doors will be open…”- Dave Barachie, KGB Family
WRA: Whitewater Rafting Adventures: https://www.facebook.com/whitewaterraftingadventures
Contact for a GREAT time, with GREAT people: https://www.facebook.com/whitewaterraftingadventures/info
In light of our Pittsburgh return to the Rex Theatre coming up on 4/12, I interviewed Pierce Marrato (http://www.touchfaster.com). Pierce is a talented and local artist based in Pittsburgh and BIG FAN OF KGB. He’ll be participating in our show in a few creative ways, while bringing a group of accomplished artists to showcase some cool creations. Enjoy folks- the unedited interview (because I’m too lazy to edit)…John H.
What is your connection to the KGB and its live show?
I first came across the incredible force that is the KGB live show at Farm Jammalamma 4. I was there shooting photos and I immediately loved their tunes. What really stood out though was how rowdy the crowd got. If I remember correctly it was a mid to late afternoon set and prior to it starting the crowd was pretty mellow…just sort of pacing themselves for the evening, ya know. Then BOOM! KGB takes the stage and the place goes nuts. I found out that this was no fluke either. Basically the same thing happened again this past year at Farm Jam. I was live painting all weekend there and again, it was a pretty mellow afternoon because it was about 100 degrees and people were taking it easy till night. But, just like my first KGB experience, the place erupted the second the set started. Then in October of this past year, while promoting the double header at Club Cafe, John contacted me and that is basically where the work relationship stemmed from. I was thrilled to be able to help…and they didn’t dissapoint. I have literally never seen Club Cafe that crazy.
How and when did it all start?
…I think I already answered this. haha
How will your connection through art and your artistry be exemplified in this event?
I love to infuse visual art into any concert experience that I am a part of. It adds another really interesting element for anyone coming as a spectator…and from an artist standpoint, it is just so much fun to create live at a show. You feed off of the energy of the band and the crowd in what becomes somewhat of a performance. To me, visual art and music are like peas and carrots.
Featured art by local artists:
Brad Bianchi (https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.604552425590.2101205.65902116&type=3)
Matty Freebles (https://www.facebook.com/MattysArt?fref=ts)
Dear Southern KGB Fam,
We regret to inform you guys that we are cancelling our two South Carolina shows on the weekend of April 5th. Charleston, we apologize, we are itching to get back to you! Josh and Melody, the king and queen of Columbia, we apologize to you and hope you can forgive us! I am personally bummed because that is my birthday weekend and I will be turning 139. In light of this cancellation, we’ll be releasing an unreleased video on Friday,April 5th. It was taken two years ago, highlighting the infant start of our journey. A centerpiece of the story is our first trip down South. You’ll see some weird stuff! A video doesn’t make up for the shows, but hopefully provides some laughs until we return! Sorry again everyone. Email me at email@example.com with anything at all.
The third installment of the “Frontmen of Philly series” is this sunday and I am happy to join this dude crew. The show is in Philadelphia at The Fire on Girard avenue and starts at 9.
For those of you coming to NYC for the KGB show Friday at the Highline Ballroom, you are in for a night of pure adrenaline. We are proud to share the stage with road hardened Brooklyn rockers, YARN. This is one for the books. The last time we performed on this stage was with brother bobby long and that was OVER 2 YEAR AGO! So in celebration of those glory days here is a video of “2 years old” from that tour.
Best and forever,
This has surely been an eventful month for KGB and looking back on everything I am so proud of what we have accomplished. That being said I truly thank Plug-In Rewind Management and their team for all the hard work and effort planning the tour. Without them we would be in a much different place.
I want to talk about the current state of the band and music and where we want to be in a years time. Since releasing our debut album “June Found a Gun” earlier this year we have been working out new material for the next record. Some of these new songs are my personal favorite but maybe that’s only because they are new. Either way over this past run we regularly performed four new tunes, two of which can be seen here as recorded by Sam Campbell of GiGspots.com. He recorded these songs in Pittsburgh at Club Cafe on 10/11 which was their debut live performance. (Thanks Sam!)
Fire & Time
(fun fact: I wrote the song as a conversation between an old flame. The second verse is supposed to be sung by a girl)
Win or Lose
(fun fact: Listen close to the chorus to hear Eric and I sing a different word)
Playing new material is extremely important to any band who wants to create a career through playing music. I am so privileged to be able to create new music with such great guys. So for my 3rd thank you of this post I'd like to thank John Hildenbrand, Eric Lawry, Robert Dwyer and Jonathan Davenport for sticking your neck out on a limb musically and coming out the other end together. When I write these songs and present them to the band I have no idea how it will sound in the end. With out the creativity and patience of these guys we would be "full-time waiters" instead of "part-time waiters" .
This brings me to the many unique fans and people we met on this tour who made every show special and opened many more opportunities. I say to myself before every show, no difference if the room is empty or packed, "playing music for people is a privilege." This is a hard truth for the touring musician, but one that is a reality. We want to keep playing and creating music for you, but we need YOU to make that happen. The shows we have booked in December play a huge role in the future of the KGB. Below are the keystone shows.
Friday, December 7th at the Appalacian Brewing Company in Harrisburg PA Thursday, December 13th at DC9 in Washington, DC Saturday, December 22nd at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, Pa (tickets available here) Thursday, December 27th at The Mercury Lounge in New York, NY
Friday, December 7th at the Appalacian Brewing Company in Harrisburg PA
Thursday, December 13th at DC9 in Washington, DC
Saturday, December 22nd at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, Pa (tickets available here)
Thursday, December 27th at The Mercury Lounge in New York, NY
In a perfect world you would be raging with us for each of these shows, but the world is not perfect. Do your part by spreading the word to your friends and family to help us make these shows blowout for the venues so we can continue on our path the way we believe. WE chose to pursue music without the umbrella of a label or outside booking agency. With that decision we have the ability to do things to best benefit us and our fans. It is something we are proud of and although challenging, extremely rewarding.
With the new year we have so much planned including a spring tour in February! We want to play for you in places YOU want us and venues that provide YOU with the best experience. That being said we will play almost anywhere and use your imagination because we can play as loud or as quiet as you want. Contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) with all of your ideas and we will do our best to make them a reality.
Wrapping this up I would like to present you with the unreleased trailer from our record release show at World Cafe Live earlier this year. To me this video is what KGB is all about. We strive to create total experiences with our big events and this video captures that spirit more so than any other video we have. The Holiday show on Saturday 12/22 will be even crazier than this and we can’t wait! With you support we can make every show this special and continue to bigger and better things for everyone in the KGB family.
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” -John Muir
Experiencing nature as a child is a valuable gift I had the privilege to receive growing up in Western Pennsylvania. Clarion, where my four siblings and I called home, has a rich connection to the it’s rivers and surrounding forests. Now that I live in Philadelphia I can appreciate how fortunate I was and how my relationship with nature, although changed, still is apart of who I am.
In the summer of 2008 I got a job as a rock climbing guide in Fayetteville, West Virginia. Fayetteville is home to some of the best whitewater and rock climbing on the east coast and is better known as the New River Gorge. That summer was a wet one. For the first few months it seemed to rain almost everyday which made for terrible climbing, but excellent rafting and kayaking. Over those early summer months the other guides and I spent many days on the river and grew to understand the culture that went along with that way of living. For some, being on the river was a complete lifestyle. It was what defined their existence and personality. For others is was merely a vacation from the daily grind with family and friends. This spectrum of participation was amazing to see first hand because of how a shared experience could bring all these groups together into a community. A community that adopted myself that summer and showed me the true spirit and positive power possible in outdoor recreation. The fall came and with my renewed passion I went back to school at Penn State to pursue a major in Recreation, Parks and Tourism Management with a specific focus in outdoor adventure recreation.
Throughout the final years of my college education I grew increasingly more active in my local outdoor community. I was leading rafting and climbing trips for the university as well as honing my own technical abilities on the rock and the water as a leader with my own group of friends. Everything I did was rewarding which only drew me in closer. Writing this now it only makes we wonder where I would be if I hadn’t started playing music. I used to see myself in Argentina or Canada spending everyday on the mountain, unlocking some ancient person I was meant to be. I idolized the skin of the climber turned to leather by the sun and his rag tag belongings beaten by the rock. I wanted the dirt and the grit and the freedom. I still feel this urge now. The urge to drop it all and leave everything for the woods. This is a feeling I embrace like an old friend and welcome its ghost as a gift of my fortunate past. Everything I have accomplished has lead me to where I am today and to the unique organization, First Descents.
“First Descents offers young adult cancer fighters and survivors a free outdoor adventure experience designed to empower them to climb, paddle and surf beyond their diagnosis, defy their cancer, reclaim their lives and connect with others doing the same.” (firstdescents.org)
Through a string of friends and connections we were introduced to this rapidly growing Colorado based organization. I couldn’t have imagined a better union between the outdoor person I was with the musician I have become. To celebrate this relationship KGB is performing after the Rock and Roll half marathon this Sunday. I hope you now have a better understanding of what has drawn me and the rest of the band to this organization. It is a deep and personal connection I am proud to showcase. This Sunday will surly be one to remember and I hope to share that experience with everyone.
Sunday, September 16th. 10am-1pm.
We’re closing down the street. Putting on a free show. Open to the public. And most importantly, supporting one of the most unique charitable organizations out there- First Descents. This was all inspired by their runners participating in the Philly half marathon.
We’ll performing at outside Rembrandts Bar & Restaurant after the race at around 11AM. The bar located a few blocks from the finish line at 741 North 23rd Street (Philadelphia, PA 19130) with great parking for the race and after party across the street. Along with many runners, we will be helping to raise awareness and money for First Descents. STOP BY!
Special thanks to First Descents, Rembrandt’s, Penn Distributors, the city of brotherly love, and all the participants!
Directions from the finish line:
Finish Line: Philadelphia Museum of Art Philadelphia Museum of Art 26th Street Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19130
• Head northeast on Art Museum Dr (374 ft)
• Slight left toward Fairmount Ave (272 ft)
• Turn right onto Fairmount Ave (0.3 mi)
• Turn left onto N 23rd St Destination will be on the left (427 ft)
Party: Rembrandt’s 741 North 23rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130