An Interview With Kev Bev
A new album release from Kev Bev will get you grooving with the fresh reggae-rock sound complete with horns, funk percussion, and classic rock vocals layered with lush synths and plucky guitar lines.
The Lifted album is loaded with heart and soul as the songs will have you dancing in your seat or perhaps around your living room.
Songs all have flair and flavor that cross into something a little new each time and even borders on hip hop and latin toned soul.
This record has more musical and vocal hooks than you can stand and it's all colorful and vibrant with a wonderful aliveness to it.
Songs can tell stories and paint pictures with both words and music and you will certainly find yourself humming along melody lines from the songs you like best much later on.
The reggae factor is genuine and breezy with a tasteful edge to it all and you can literally hear the amount of fun this band had creating this opus of a record.
The release has a gypsy undertone at times and horns flow with swagger as guitars bop and give the tracks a deeper cut feeling.
There is a unique energy behind most of these songs and a theatrical factor that bleeds through on most.
The bass tone on the record is outstanding and you really can feel the song's rhythm begin to flow in your veins.
With such a killer album, we had to have a chat with Kev Bev to see where all of this really came from.
TSWS: Okay guys let's start with the Lifted album. This record has a heavy reggae and classic rock vibe to it. Where did this album come from?
Kevin: When we write or jam as a group, the reggae rhythms often sneak their way in. Artists like The Specials, Bob Marley, and Desmond Dekker have a healing quality to them and they just make people move. My rock influences are a staple of growing up with a father who sings in a classic rock cover band.
TSWS: With all the great styles infused on this record I'm hearing loads of influences. Who are your actual biggest musical influences?
Kevin: LCD Soundsystem, Parliament Funkadelic, Curtis Mayfield, The Beatles, Outkast
Candy: LCD Soundsystem for sure, Arcade Fire, Talking Heads, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen
TSWS: How did all of this start for you?
Candy: Kevin was writing and making demos of these new funky songs when he first moved to Austin in 2011 and I told him he needed to start a new band. He had left several bands in Maryland to follow me down here, and I had always felt bad about that. Plus his new music was better than ever, and needed to be shared! He began playing acoustic shows with a bass drum pedal inspired by Austin's Shakey Graves, and soon I was backing him on vocals. We started adding more players and practicing in our small attic bedroom of the commune we lived in, which we affectionately called the Tree House Mansion. We'd put our bed against the wall to make space. It wasn't long before we had a 10-piece band! Which Kev had actually always wanted since his grandfather was the leader of a Big Band in the army, and again post-army.
Kevin: Candy has always helped fine tune my lyrics and has now become a writer and musician of her own.
TSWS: You sound like you'd be an outstanding live band. Will you be focusing on any live shows soon?
Kevin: We love playing live with a large group of 9-11 players, plus dancers. We let the musicians get loose and improvise in sections of the songs which is exciting for both the audience and for us. The next show is in Austin at the One 2 One bar on Sunday 4/25 at 7:30pm Central Time. This is the band's first inside club show since the pandemic! They are doing limited capacity inside and livestreaming the show online with multi camera fully mixed sound.
TSWS: I love your videos so far! Can we expect a few more from you guys?
Kevin: We love creating videos and have an idea in the works for the last song on the Lifted album called Fly low. The song is written by our bassist Alec Dickie about a guy he met while traveling who drifts along with minimal resources. The idea would be a close-up of a similar character (maybe Alec) walking through the woods as members of the band begin to follow him acoustically playing along the way.
TSWS: What's next for you as a band?
Kevin: Kev Bev has been working on new songs for the next release and we would like to pitch it to a label for help with promotion. We also have some interesting covers we want to get the rights to re-record.
TSWS: Who are each of you listening to right now?
Kevin: Houston band Khruangbin and Austin Hip Hop duo Riders Against the Storm.
Candy: Sylvan Esso, Chromatics, Charley Crockett, The Modern Lovers
TSWS: What are you all doing when you're NOT working on music?
Candy: I have been going on a lot of hikes, working on our backyard, getting an herb garden going, and ALWAYS planning the next adventure.
Kevin: Dance classes and trumpet lessons mostly. My private practice is also picking up and keeping me busy. I'm a massage therapist.
TSWS: This album is a massive undertaking or at least it sounds like it was. Any advice you'd have for other up and coming bands out there?
Kevin: Keep at it, do your best, and put it out. So many people take too long nitpicking or re-working their music and then it never comes out.
TSWS: What sort of things inspire you to write?
Candy: Sometimes the band creates a jam that is so good that lyric ideas start pouring in.
Kevin: I am usually inspired on vacation with some relaxation time and some instruments around.
TSWS: Do you get together for rehearsal?
Kevin: We have been fortunate to have a house with a backyard. I set up the equipment outside and the neighbors have been cool with it. Some have even become new fans! In fact, we're playing a neighborhood party pretty soon.
TSWS: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
Candy: Thanks for sticking with us through this crazy year and giving our new album all the love!
Kevin: Stay tuned for the next episode...