About Raiford Starke


Raiford Starke has emerged as one of South Florida's most entertaining musical artists. Combining blues, country, folk and good old rock and roll into one stunning repertoire, his hot picking and emotional singing have earned him praise from critics and fans alike.

Born in Virginia as Colin Kenny, the man who would become Raiford Starke came up in the roots crazy DC scene of the late 70's, paying his dues touring with gothabilly pioneers Lawrence Beall & The Sultans.

After kicking around east Texas working oil rigs in the 80's with musical partner and mentor Dicky Wilson, Kenny found his way into Florida where he spent a few years playing guitar with Big Dick & The Extenders, a band from the Keys known the world over for its profane act and house-rocking attitude. Digging deeper into the local music scene, he began working with artists like Iko Iko, Melenhead, Magda Hiller and Shack Daddys, eventually meeting and becoming musical director for Native American singer/songwriter and Seminole Tribal Chairman Chief Jim Billie. It was among this cast of characters that Raiford Starke the roots guitar hero/populist raconteur was born.

With the Seminoles' flamboyant chief leading the way, Starke performed everywhere from above the Arctic Circle with an Inuit Elvis impersonator to joining Phish onstage during their historic New Years Eve 2000 concert in Big Cypress, Florida. He's played countless festivals and opened for national artists like Willie Nelson, John Anderson, Leon Russell and others.

Compounding his reputation as a fiery electric lead player have been his awesome solo acoustic performances, which earned Raiford Starke the title of "Best Acoustic Performer" in alternative weekly NEW TIMES' "Best of 2000" issue. His writings as a columnist for The Seminole Tribune further displayed an individual voice full of wit and passion.

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