Kenny Roby

Kenny Roby is a seasoned veteran of the music world, a talented and skilled vocalist, instrumentalist, producer, writer and performer. Raised in a musical family in upstate South Carolina, he was exposed to music from an early age. As a child, he mined his parents’ record collection, discovering the likes of Bing Crosby, Johnny Mathis, Ray Charles, Patsy Cline, Gene Autry, Hank Williams, Hank Snow, Sons of the Pioneers and a host of Broadway musicals and soundtracks. His older brother turned Kenny on to a treasure trove of popular music from the ’60s and ’70s, everything from the rhythm and blues of Motown and Memphis to the Beatles and the British Invasion. He discovered early rap, modern soul, harder rock, reggae and punk rock, and began to delve into more hardcore rap such as Public Enemy and Boogie Down Productions. He continued to explore the roots and masters of reggae, American roots music, songwriters, blues, soul, rock and roll, country, punk rock, hardcore, contemporary rock acts and off the road acts such as Tom Waits throughout high school.

Roby’s quest took another turn when he joined the high school punk rock group the Lubricators at age 15. It was with the Lubricators that he first demonstrated his promise as a charismatic and entertaining performer and front man. He and the Lubricators moved to Raleigh, N.C., in 1991, but the band broke up two years later. That’s when Roby formed 6 String Drag, which began as an American-roots band with a fan base in the Carolinas, then quickly grew into a regional sensation throughout the Southeast and eventually throughout the US and beyond. Their 1997 album “High Hat” was released to tremendous national critical acclaim.

Roby continued to hone his songwriting skills and became attracted to and influenced by songwriters such as Randy Newman and Townes Van Zandt, whose work made their dark characters come alive with compelling and often humorous and ironic narratives. When 6 String Drag broke up in 1998, Roby went solo and released three excellent but vastly different solo records: Mercury’s Blues (1999), Rather Not Know (2003) and The Mercy Filter (2006).

“Memories & Birds” was recorded between December 2011 and April 2012 and shows Roby as an artist continuing to mature and evolve.