Archive for Thursday, January 7, 1999


January 7, 1999


The brothers have been performing together since childhood, when they fell under the influence of their blues-singing father, Big Daddy Kinsey.

The Kinsey Report has traveled a long road since its origin in a Gary, Ind., church.

Today the Kinsey brothers -- Kenneth, bassist; Donald (who had stints with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh), lead guitar and vocals; and Ralph, drums -- are in the midst of promoting their third Alligator Records release, "Smoke and Steel."

The Kinsey Report will perform its blues-based rock Saturday night at the Grand Emporium in Kansas City, Mo.

The band plays a variety of shows during any year. The brothers will perform next month at some festivals in Brazil and are planning a European tour next year. In the past, they've performed with Living Colour, Albert Collins and Dr. John.

Although it's easy to call the group a blues band, the Kinsey brothers draw from several influences and incorporate musical styles ranging from funk to reggae to rock to straight blues.

From their early days in Indiana, music-making has always been a family affair. Their earliest influence can be traced to their grandfather, who was a preacher in the Pentecostal Church of Christ. The church services were music-oriented and formed the cornerstone of the band.

The boys' father, Big Daddy Kinsey, helped them take their next step when he caught the blues bug. The boys spent their teen-age years touring with Big Daddy Kinsey and His Fabulous Sons. Other influences during this time were Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, B.B. King and Junior Parker.

The Kinsey brothers are happy to be reunited with Alligator Records after an unsuccessful major label foray.

"Just because it's a major label doesn't mean that major things are going to happen," Kenneth said.

The brothers said they didn't get the support they needed from the major record label. So now they've returned to Alligator Records, which released their two albums, "Edge of the City" and "Midnight Drive."

The band says it has lacked focus in the past and has now corralled its musical styles into a solid sound.

"When you draw from a lot of influences it's good for creativity, but it can hurt you," Kenneth said. "You can write good songs, but it can go in too many directions if you put them all in."

After some road work, The Kinsey Report will be ready to return to the studio for its next album.

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