Dan Nettles :: Guitar & Composition
My name is Dan Nettles and I am the bandleader, composer, and guitarist for Kenosha Kid. Forgive me for writing this in the first person, but when a convention interferes with getting the point across, perhaps it can be discarded? In fact, much the same could be said about the music I make, which others have described as “some kind of as yet unlabeled jazz” (All About Jazz), as music “played through an Andy Warhol filter and served up Thomas Pynchon style” (Savannah Now), and as “jazz as if Kenny G and Wynton Marsalis never came along to ruin the genre's mainstream” (Flagpole Magazine). I would agree with most of these clever descriptions, although I have point out that I do enjoy Wynton’s music, if not all the things that he says. (We all should talk less and play more, in the end.)
I live in the town I was born in, a pleasant college town in The South called Athens, Georgia. Athens is a place that’s cheap to live, the days are long, and is a musical crossroads between older roots-music and uber-hip indie rock stars. Growing up here was like some sort of crazy musical cross pollination, and as I get older I readily recognize that this constant crossfire of influences had much to do with the shape of my artistic path.
It wasn’t exactly easy, however. I began playing guitar with my father… both kinds of music: “country AND western” (as described in The Blues Brothers). I had a hefty concert band education, and took band class to its small-town limit. Music never made me popular… I wasn’t one of those kids that could sing, or crank out the hits like a jukebox. Rather, I had trouble playing a song the same way twice, and was always making up riffs with friends... repeating phrases I’d hear in my head, then improvising off them. Somewhere along the way, I heard Wes Montgomery, Pat Metheny, and John Scofield, and I thought this was what I wanted to try. At 18, I packed myself up to Boston, dived into some serious research, and emerged 4 years later… armed with a carload of tools, but with no small spiritual loss. At that time I often pondered, “Is jazz just a musical pissing contest?”