Kevin West Music

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Once in a Lifetime With Kevin West: CD Release Party at the Pour House

Monday, July 11, 2011

By Heather Johnson

Anyone who has been on Folly Beach for any extended amount of time is bound to have heard the musical stylings of Kevin West.  A staple of the island’s live music line-up for close to 20 years now, West has played at nearly every venue that’s come and gone from Center Street.

Since on Folly Beach from New Jersey as a young man, Kevin has found his home, his favorite place on earth, and a place to thrive musically.  Embraced by this town of music lovers, both personally and creatively, Kevin has grown as an artist and seen his music develop in multiple different styles and genres, generating a live show that truly has something for everyone.  You can find him regularly as both a soulful solo act or with the full band for a night of absolute rock ‘n roll bliss.  Either way, you are likely to experience a full array of musical styles, from blues, hard rock, hip-hop, metal, and even a taste of some smooth groovy jazz.  Whichever mood Kevin finds himself in that night, one thing you can count on is that you will find it almost impossible not to be moved out of your chair singing and dancing along.

In 2001, Kevin released his first album, On the Way to Nowhere, a collection of recordings that he made throughout the ’90s.  In 2006, Kevin released his second album, My Life & Times, infusing hip-hop beats and jazz chords into his arrangements. In the July/ August 2006 issue of American Songwriter Magazine, Kevin took first place for his hauntingly beautiful lyrics in the song “Dear Mama,” which shares letters from two sons, one in jail and one fighting in Iraq, to their Mom.

With two albums under his belt and some critical acclaim starting to come his way, Kevin went to the stage to do what he does best — play for the fans.  And he played everywhere all over Charleston, from big shows at places like the Music Farm to small intimate shows all over the islands and downtown.  He then took to the road to share his music with other parts of the country, including Chicago, New Orleans, New York, Atlanta, and Richmond.

Kevin says his newest album, Once in a Lifetime, has been a labor of love for years.  The album became Kevin’s highest priority, tragically, after the sudden passing of his older brother and biggest fan, Brian, in late 2010.  Since then, every ounce of energy and every spare moment has been spent in the studio trying to create the best line up of music that Kevin had in him — something that Brian would be proud of.

The celebration will be on the Friday, July 8, at the Pour House on James Island, where not only will you have the opportunity to pick up your own copy of the CD, but there will also be limited copies of a Kevin West DVD available.  Filmed and created by Ellie Payne, the DVD features tons of photos, old concert footage, and one on one interviews with Kevin about his life and his music.  The CD release party will include The Kevin West Band and special guests such as Brittany Linder, members of L-MOB, and RIGHCHUS.  The doors will open at 8pm, and the first 100 early birds receive a free copy of Once in a Lifetime