Nirvana was on the radio a lot then. Eight years ago, Korby started college at Western Washington University, graduating in 2001. He studied music theory, transcribed Phish songs, found out he wasn't a jazz guitar player, rode his bike a lot and always went to class. Somewhere in there, he quit the city and spent a year or so in a little cabin thinking. It was then he first heard what is called bluegrass music.
So he went unplugged and started flat-picking. Doc Watson and Norman Blake were in the CD player a lot. In '98, he formed his first bluegrass band, Amandacello and the Blue Light Boys. In ‘99 Korby got a Martin D-18 and headed out to West Virginia. For five months, he lived alone in a studio apartment on the Ohio River, eating grilled cheese sandwiches and traveling to bluegrass festivals.
Korby found himself attending a number of Appalachian mountain church services; one in particular, the snake-handling congregation of The Church of the Lord Jesus, videotaped their services on the off chance someone is bitten. Now, in someone’s video library, is Korby, shaking a tambourine and singing “Nearer My God to Thee” while old men passed around three-foot-long timber rattlesnakes. In 2000, Korby returned to the West Coast, where he formed another bluegrass group, The Barbed Wire Cutters. SPIN called them "the young riders of the bluegrass revolt." Meanwhile, Korby made a bunch of solo records. Summer 2003 saw the making of his sixth album, Bellingham—an acoustic roots oriented sound recorded in San Francisco with dobra-player Mike Grigoni and bassist Andrew Simmons. Several strong reviews led to a UK tour, the highlight of which was Korby’s interview by BBC Radio 2’s Bob Harris.
"You never get tired of finding someone with something to say, someone with a new twist on old themes, and Korby Lenker is definitely a someone. And as for the performances, one can say no better than they match the songs. This is great stuff." (www.Americana-UK.com) Things didn’t slow from there. Upon his return from the UK, Korby was selected among of pool of 1200 applicants as a finalist for the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Competition at MerleFest in North Carolina.
He placed second. Upon returning from the southland, Seattle's KMTT 103.7, The Mountain, featured Korby, performing on the Mountain’s Music Lounge. The Mountain says of Korby: “Best NW artist we've heard in a long while....and the most modest!" Korby’s had the privilege of playing support for such acts as Ray LaMontagne, Keith Urban, and Tristan Prettyman. September 2005 brought Korby’s selection to showcase at the 4th Annual Americana Music Conference, where he appeared alongside Emmylou Harris and Steve Earle. King of Hearts, Korby’s 7th record in 5 years, was released in Seattle in November 2005. A departure from his bluegrass roots, this rock-oriented effort is lived-to-tell-it songwriting, and features Korby wearing a few more hats.
In addition to his roles as writer, guitarist, singer and programmer, he took a turn in the producer's chair. Please see more at http://www.korbylenker.com Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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