KEVIN SO with Pedal Steel Master BUCK REID!Sep 29, 2015 | 0 comments
Date: Sep 29, 2015 Time: 8:00 pm Price: $12 in advance/$15 day of show Type: singer/songwriter
Since graduating from Boston Latin School in 1989, and in over 25 years of performing his music around the USA, Kevin So is a Chinese-American musician who has earned the respect of fellow musicians (Keb’ Mo’, Amos Lee, Melody Gardot, Simon Lynge), won over members of press (the late editor-in-chief Timothy White/Billboard Magazine, Steve Morse/Boston Globe) and radio (John Platt-WFUV, New York, Rich Warren-WFMT, Chicago), and has built a loyal fan base around the world.
Born and raised in Boston, So channeled his early passion for singing into the start of a music career with his 1990 appearance on the nationally broadcast Fox TV show “Big Break” hosted by Natalie Cole.
In 1994, So toured the country in a cover band that would later see some of its members moving on to Britney Spears’ and Justin Timberlake’s bands.
It was during that period when Kevin spent a considerable amount of time listening to the early recordings of Bob Dylan. By 1995, So quit the cover band and became a regular on the open-mike folk scene in Cambridge, MA. His strong musicianship caught the attention of Boston Globe critic Steve Morse who wrote that Kevin was “riveting… a smooth, impeccable guitarist.” The following year 1996, at the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas, an Austin Chronicle’s music writer took notice, writing that So was “the big discovery.” The 1997 release of “Individual” was accompanied by a sold-out performance at Club Passim and hundreds of shows to follow througout 1998, including a historic concert recorded live, again at Passim, and released as “Along The Way.”
So moved to Chicago in the fall of 1999, booked his own gigs, performing shows in the Midwest and elsewhere. Busking with Mary Lou Lord in Austin, TX the following year at the 2000 SXSW Festival, Kevin was “discovered” by head of The Agency Group, Steve Martin. Subsequently, he opened for Joe Cocker, Billy Bragg, Randy Newman and Robben Ford. That year was documented in what some folks call the “Asian American Don’t Look Back” – a documentary aptly titled “HAVE YOU HEARD OF KEVIN SO?” (Frank Floyd Films).
Following the sudden passing of his father on August 10, 2000, So moved back to Boston in 2001, began work on his next album and continued to tour extensively throughout the US. The day after September 11th, Kevin connected with Grammy-award winning bluesman Keb’ Mo’ and co-wrote “Talk” which Keb’ would eventually record (“Peace… Back By Popular Demand”, Sony/Okeh).
What was Kevin So’s artistic reaction to his father’s death, 9/11, and the loss of his best friend soon after?
The double-disc, 32 track “Leaving The Lights On” was released in May 2003 and appeared to an avalanche of praise around the world that year. Six months later, Kevin moved to Brooklyn, New York.
With 3 other CDs under his belt, “The So Must Go On” (2005), “The Brooklyn Sessions EP” (2006), and “A Brighter Day” (2007), So continued to tour the country at a vigorous clip, changing gears slightly, fronting a band while on electric piano mostly, and hiring some of the most sought after musicians across the United States: Dave Luther of Meatloaf, renown bassist Kona Khasu, and Dan Weiner from the cast of “Stomp.”
In August 2007, Kevin was proud recipient of the New York Fringe Festival Award (Best Music & Lyrics) for “Great Wall” – a musical based on his life and times, which was most recently produced by the Village Theatre at the First Stage Theatre in Issaquah, WA (August 6 through 9) and at Second Stage Theatre in Everett, WA to sold out audiences (August 15 and 16).
So has been a Nashville resident since June 2009.
Kevin would soon after reconnect with folk music producer Steve Rapson and release 2 widely acclaimed solo acoustic efforts “Best Foot Forward” (2009) and “LiFe Solo AKouStic” (2010), going back to his folk/blues roots and performing over 200 shows around the world. His YouTube featured “AKouStic Journey” began on October 10, 2010 (“10/10/10”) and concluded on April 16, 2011 on the nationally syndicated radio show Folkstage hosted by renown DJ Rich Warren.
Two months later, Kevin was hired as multi-instrumentalist in the KEB MO BAND and toured internationally with them from July 2011 til September 2012. His song “Crush On You” was recorded as a duet by Keb’ Mo’ and acclaimed soul songstress India Arie on appears on Keb Mo’s 2012 release “The Reflection.”
Kevin would spend the remainder of 2012 and the next 2 years working on and completing his latest “country-flavored” studio effort “COUNTRYSIDE” – a Kickstarter-funded project, which includes a star-studded cast of Nashville finest studio musicians, including Chester Thompson (Genesis, Frank Zappa), Chris Rodriguez (Keith Urban, Kelly Clarkson), Vail Johnson (Kenny G), Buck Reid (Lyle Lovett) and blues legend himself Keb’ Mo’ who says Kevin’s album “has big legs.”
Kevin is currently booking shows for 2015 and throughout 2016, in support of his latest album “COUNTRYSIDE” – following recent appearances across the United States, as well as Germany, Prague and Paris.
Buck Reid (pedal steel) just completed a tour with Lyle Lovett – Buck has been with Lyle for 25 years and also appears on Kevin’s recently released “Countryside” cd. http://www.buckreid.com/