Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page
Kerry Kearney, a slide guitar master, plays and works his instrument to limits that amaze even the most seasoned musician or cultured music fan. The music that Kerry creates from his vintage, stock and custom made guitars are as unique as his song writing and original melodies. Kerry Kearney’s style, which is referred to as “Psychedelta”, is his own brand of music containing an upbeat mix of American Blues and Roots with a twist of a very unique sound all his own. Along with his band, he has continued to experience an overwhelming and positive response over the radio and especially when the band performs live.
Kerry developed an interest in guitars at the age of 4. While not being permitted to play his brother's guitar, little Kerry had to wait six years to finally get his own. His parents bought his first electric guitar at age 10. Kerry, a natural, listened to his brother's Ventures records and taught himself how to play. At age 12, Kerry discovered the music of BB King and he joined his first band, playing Southern Rock and Blues. He continued playing and partying throughout high school, but at only 17, Kerry realized he had a serious addiction to drugs and alcohol, so he decided to quit it all and began to "woodshed" his energy on what he loved the most... playing his guitar.
At 19, a good friend of Kerry's suggested he should try playing slide guitar. With a few tips from his older brother, Kerry picked up a slide and learned how to play in one day. Some things are just meant to be!
In 1988, Marty Balin of Jefferson Airplane/Starship heard Kerry play and asked if he'd be interested in joining his band for a 3 month tour. Kerry accepted and 3 months turned into 5 great years. It was then time for Kerry to branch out on his own.
Strongly influenced by Lightning Hopkins, Mississippi John Hurt and Eric Clapton, Kerry found his calling in the Blues scene. He gathered a unique and talented group of musicians to form the Kerry Kearney Band.
Kerry was voted "Best Guitarist of 1999!" by the LI Voice and “Bluesman of the Year 2004” by the Long Island Blues Society. He is also the recipient of the prestigious Long Island Sound Award (L.I.S.A.) from the Long Island Music Hall of Fame. In February 2013, Kerry Kearney was inducted into the NY Blues Hall of Fame.
The Kerry Kearney Band has performed internationally, including at The Guinness Blues Festival in Ireland, and are "favorites" at numerous music festivals across the country and locally, including The Crossroads Music Festival in Memphis and the Great South Bay Music Festival in Patchogue, Long Island. They have also toured nationally and internationally with the Allman Brothers and Dickey Betts and have performed with such contemporaries as Sonny Landreth and Robert Randolph. They have headlined four of the annual Riverhead Blues Festivals and continue to add to their loyal following - both near and far.
Their fresh innovative sound is unlike anything you've ever heard. This wailing upbeat style of blues - music from the "Psychedelta"- is driven by Kerry Kearney's amazing guitar riffs, his electrifying slide and infectious rhythms.
Whether you crank one of their CDs in your car stereo, or have a chance to see them play live, their dynamic, energetic music is something you will never forget.
2012 marked the 15th Anniversary for the Kerry Kearney Band. In true Kerry style, the band inaugurated the celebration to a sold out show at the Boulton Center in Bay Shore, Long Island. Kerry was also featured in the March 2012 issue of Long Island Pulse magazine. In December 2012, the Kerry Kearney Band shared the stage with the great BB King at the NYCB Westbury Theater.
The Kerry Kearney Band lineup includes: Kerry Kearney (guitars, vocals), Mario Staiano (drums) – formerly of Savoy Brown and Sam Taylor, David Bennett Cohen (keyboards) – original keyboardist for Country Joe and The Fish, Gerry Sorrentino (bass) – formerly of Savoy Brown, and Ken “The Rocket” Korb (harmonica) - a veteran of the Long Island music scene.