Kenny Lee Benson - Keyboard, Accordion, Harmonica, Vocals

"When I was in my early 20s I decided to quit playing country music in the beer joints and honky tonks of New Mexico and study music "seriously." I left Albuquerque and moved to Boston to go to music school. After two semesters I ran out of money and did what came natural... playing country music in beer joints and honky tonks. This time in the Northeast. In spite of playing with some wonderful people and players (including the legendary Sleepy LaBeef), I came to the realization that no matter where I was, I was always playing the "the worst place in town" and decided to get the hell out of Dodge.

Torn between moving to Nashville and Los Angeles (I had an "ex" in Texas), I let my record collection decide for me. Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell, Brian Ahern, Byron Berline, Albert Lee and Chris Hillman were all in California and making the kind of records I wanted to make, so I packed up and moved there. Once again, I went to school and studied arranging and orchestration with Dick Grove in Studio City, California (my current home). One night after playing music at a friend's house, the guitar player and I stood in the parking lot and talked about country music until the wee hours of the morning. We found that we had a mutual passion for Bob Wills, Asleep at the Wheel, Guy Clark and, of course, Emmylou Harris; we decided that we should put a band together just for "laughs." Little did I know that the band would become a major part of my life and that I'd still be working with Lindy Rasmusson 30 years later! Not only have I been blessed to work in what has always been a very inventive, unique and ever-evolving band, I've had the privilege of working with many of my musical heroes. We're sometimes asked what keeps us going or if we get "frustrated." The most frustrating thing that I can think of is not following your dream. I make my humble living doing what I love to do. As long as we're making great music, I can't imagine doing anything else. I guess I'm just lucky."


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