Who is Kenn Fox?
Kenn Fox has been a viable component of the Midwest music scene for nearly 30 years. He is known as a guitarist, composer, studio artist, producer and teacher. As a guitarist, he is acclaimed for his explorations of many styles, including modern fingerstyle, electric blues, slide guitar, and world fusion. He is a proponent and innovator in the use of open guitar tunings, using dozens of self-invented tunings both live and on recordings.
Kenn’s first album, Brave Face, released in 1998, was primarily an electric project. This was closely followed by 1999’s Near Life Experience, a world fusion work heavily influenced by the South American guitarist, Egberto Gismonti. His third album, Epiphany, released in 2000, continues to be highly acclaimed for its charming melodic compositions and ground-breaking modern fingerstyle technique.
In 2003, Kenn released a complex experimental recording entitled Send with his band, Voltage Unit. This highly textured collection of soundscapes combined Kenn’s haunting electric and acoustic guitar stylings with modern electronica. Spirits in the House is a seasoned effort with sparse instrumentation, featuring Kenn’s fingerstyle guitar technique in its purest setting. Kenn’s guitar playing has been compared to Robert Fripp, John Fahey, Michael Hedges, and Davey Graham.
Kenn's CD Road to Tivoli was released in April, 2007. This work features thirteen new original compositions written by Fox in the winter and spring of 2007. These tracks feature a cast of friends including Dave Finley (fretless bass), Susan Nicholson (fiddle), John Peik (banjo), Jeff Moyland (drums), Mare Edstrom (celtic flute), and Tracy Jane Comer (guitar) on a duet entitled "Faith." Many of the tracks on Road to Tivoli were written and recorded on baritone guitar producing haunting results. As always, the tunes are melodic and full of texture.
Kenn's 2008 project, Sacred Wood, received an outstanding review in Acoustic Magazine (UK) in May 2009. The CD features 14 solo guitar compositions showcasing guitars by Josh House, Mcilroy, Webber, and Northwood. The CD booklet provides technical info, and tunings for all compositions. Tablature for many of these compositions will be available soon.
Worlds Collide was released in June 2009 and features 13 new compositions featuring Kenn on guitars plus Dave Finley on fretless bass and guest appearances by Jon Peik (banjo), Sam Ecoff (keyboards), and Mare Edstrom (Celtic flute).
In November 2010 Kenn released Malakai's Rainbow. This moving work was inspired by the birth of his first grandchild Malakai and his journey with congenital heart disease. It features a collection of new solo fingerstyle compositions with all but one performed live. This album also features the first recorded composition by The Midwest Guitar Trio (full album to be released in 2011). Malakai's Rainbow is also Kenn's first album recorded primarily in his recording facility, Anam Studio. (More info on Anam Studio can be found here.)
Kenn is also an accomplished producer and has produced sixteen albums to date for the Wisconsin-based Spiritone Records label, including six various artist collections featuring regional singer-songwriters. He is currently performing live with the Midwest Guitar Trio.
In Summer 2012 Spiritone released a Kenn Fox retrospective titled Path of Least Resistance. This collection gathers some of Kenn's favorite tracks from previous albums and presents them in a new setting. This is an excellent primer for those just becoming familiar with Kenn's sizable catalog.
Visit the Spiritone Records channel on YouTube for more videos!