Kevin Keith Banford

Music Video

Nominated for country artist of the year 8th annual LA Music Awards

Born on the Wasatch Front in the Rocky Mountains, Kevin relocated with his family to Southern California when he was three years old. Growing up in the Southland communities of Bell Gardens and El Toro, his heart never really left the mountains.

After watching a local band (made up of classmates from his junior high) perform one day at school, the idea that “guitar players got more chicks than the jocks” became readily apparent.

One of Kevin’s earliest memories of country music was hearing Roger Miller’s “King Of The Road” on an old AM car radio, driving around LA on a rainy day with mom, Barbara, in the family’s Ford Comet station wagon. Watching the windshield wipers waving back and forth to the music remains a favorite memory.

At the ripe-old age of 13, Kevin started singing, teaching himself how to play guitar and learning how to write songs by listening to the popular music of the time with its many and varied influences.

In his tender twenties, Kevin discovered the legendary works of such honky-tonk greats as Hank Williams. When asked about his musical influences, Kevin will tell you, “It was, ol’ Hank, Lefty, Faron, Webb, Wynn, Ernest, Buck, George, and Merle who taught me how to sing a real country song.”

Recent inspirations include the likes of Dwight Yoakam, and his West Coast country creativity (sometimes associated with the “Bakersfield sound”), David Ball’s contemporary “honky-tonk,” and singer/songwriters Radney Foster and Heather Miles; real “working” cowboys, like singer Dave Stamey and yodeler Wylie Gustafson (Wylie & The Wild West); and, of course, George Strait and Alan Jackson for being quintessential “gentlemen” country singers; and local Texas favorites Dale Watson, The Derailers and Asleep At The Wheel for carrying on the tradition.

Kevin’s first taste of the stage came in such world-famous honky-tonks as The Palomino Club in North Hollywood, The Crazy Horse Steak House & Saloon in Santa Ana, quickly moving on to other well known regional venues as The Coach House and Galaxy theaters, The Troubadour, and numerous dancehalls and honky-tonks all across the Southern and Central regions of California.

In 1998, and again in 2001, Kevin appeared as a featured vocalist in the city of Laguna Beach’s world renowned production of “The Pageant Of The Masters” (an art from known as Tableau Vivants), fronting a 40-piece orchestra singing country and cowboy tunes for over 60 straight nights, performing for more than 150,000 people per season.

Two of Kevin’s songs from his debut album, “King Of The Thrift Store Cowboys” went to #5 and #12 on the European Independent radio charts, and five songs from it were used in three different made-for-TV movies on the Hallmark and Animal Planet channels (“Night Of The Wolf” with Anne Archer and Robert Urich, “Straight From The Heart” with Andrew McCarthy and Teri Polo, and “The King and Queen Of Moonlight Bay” with Tim Matheson and Sean Young). His new CD, “Between Heaven & L.A.” is currently being well received by various radio stations throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. Kevin has been interviewed and performed live on radio and television all across the country and overseas.

Kevin considers it an honor to have had the chance to complete six tours abroad for the U.S. government, playing to our men and woman in the armed forces overseas. “It was great to be able to bring a little bit of ‘back home’ to folks a long ways from home. It was an opportunity to give something back to the country, at least in a small way.”

In the end, Kevin’s aspirations in the music business are simple: to be a part of the revitalization of the art of country music and to help bring back what so many have felt missing for so long — the music of the honky-tonk; to bring reverence and respect to those who have made the music so great by keeping their music and their memories alive; and to one day make a mark of his own. Long Live Real Country Music!