Know your cover band: Kenny Grubbs gets his inspiration from Dave Matthews

Kenny Grubbs

Kenny Grubbs

Who: Kenny Grubbs, 36

Years singing/playing: 13

Type of music: Modern and classic rock and some pop

Where can you see him: Wednesday nights during happy hour at Pelican Larry’s, 7785 Davis Blvd.

If you enjoy hearing upbeat acoustic pop/rock music you will definitely want to check out Kenny Grubbs. Grubbs gets his inspiration from artists like Dave Matthews and Jack Johnson. You can find this Missouri native at local bars across town. We sat down with Grubbs to hear more about his love of singing and playing music.

Daily News: Tell me about your first paying gig.

Grubbs: I started my first paying gig at Paddy Murphy’s in Naples around 12 years ago. At the time open mic night was a big thing there, so I signed up and played. After they heard me play they invited me to start playing there on a regular basis. On my first big night I was nervous as heck but I got through it and when I was done I realized that I had so much fun and loved it, and the rest is history. Now, I play at Pelican Larry’s on Davis Boulevard every Wednesday night around happy hour time.

DN: How would you describe your music?

Grubbs: I play just strictly acoustic guitar and I use a vocal harmonizer pedal so I have a little bit of depth with my vocals. It’s usually modern rock, classic rock and some pop. I try and keep it lively and play music that I think people would enjoy hearing. I tend to stick with songs by artists like Dave Matthews and Jack Johnson because I try and play stuff that I’m into and not the normal songs you hear all the time.

DN: Who are some of your musical influences?

Grubbs: Dave Matthews pretty much influenced me to pick up a guitar and learn how to play. I didn’t pick up a guitar and learn so I can get gigs, I did it mainly to learn how to play “Live at Luther College” by Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds. That CD blew my mind, just hearing two guys sit down and play acoustic guitars the way they did was amazing.

DN: When you play the cover songs, how faithful are you to the original?

Grubbs: I try and stick with how it sounds to me, but people always tell me that they like my version of that cover. I guess I do put my own spin on it. I’m just not sure what it is.

DN: What is your favorite song to cover?

Grubbs: My favorite song is usually any new song that I learn how to play, as long as I’m comfortable with it. It’s usually my favorite because its new and I haven’t played it a hundred times.

DN: Do you play any originals? If so, how would you work them into your set of covers?

Grubbs: Yes I do, I just start playing them and sometimes I might mention that they are my originals. The kind of music I write tends to have the same vibe as Dave Matthews or Jack Johnson. I like to stick with my inspirations, just a soulful tune.

DN: Where do you see yourself in five years?

Grubbs: I see myself pretty much doing the same thing. I don’t have any visions of grandeur ... . I’m not looking to be famous, as long as I’m recording my originals and playing a gig or two, I’m content.

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