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Dan Nettles

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?”

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Album Review
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“It may be a daunting undertaking to score a true film classic, but Kenosha Kid is up for the task; Steamboat Bill Jr. is a welcome alternative to tired silent film scores, with taste, finesse, and an expansive, playful spirit.” -Ernie Paik, Chattanooga Pulse 10/16/08

“Kenosha Kid loosens the laces on standard jazz. High art acknowledges pop art, influenced by Louis Armstrong and Charlie Christian, yet eager to strike a Keith Richards pose. The 18 tracks on their newest release are classic cuts played through an Andy Warhol filter and served up Thomas Pynchon style.” -Joel Weickgenant, Savannah Now 9/18/08

“Kenosha Kid’s jazzy blend of delta blues, bluegrass, avant-garde and indie rock colorfully enlivens the black and white screen while creating the perfect entry point for the jazz layman… Nettles succeeds in eliciting the pathos of the film with compositional wizardry, conjuring his 10-piece jazz-orchestra like an army of reanimated broom handles…” -Ryan Monohan, Flagpole Magazine 9/17/08

“Creating a spacious, warm vibe that presses against the ear, Kenosha Kid unsheathes delicate but complicated rhythms under busy low end that fights for air with reverb-soaked guitar lines

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Album Steamboat Bill, Jr by Dan Nettles

Steamboat Bill, Jr

Nowt Records


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