Ken (KD) Bantz
Ken Bantz's life has been a series of travels and adventures ranging from all across the continent to his midwest roots. His varied life experiences range from growing up on a midwest family farm to working 10 on and 10 off in the summer heat of glass factories to living/backpacking in the great Northwest to working for John Mellencamp. The one constant throughout has been his music-he has been nurturing his passion for writing and playing for over two decades. These experiences have provided a broad/colorful emotional spectrum that Bantz draws upon when writing and is evident in his debut release "You Can't Go Back". An album whose songs include the rocker "You Can't Go Back", the up-tempo Delta blues of "Blind Jack Johnson", the soft twelve string acoustic rhythm and soaring electric guitar in the love at first sight "Crowded Room", the plight of over 3 million post-NAFTA American workers in "Till That Whistle Blows", the calliope and sloppy tuba in "Boo Radley"-are among the songs included on this slice of life.
"I'm not sure how long Ken Bantz has been playing guitar or writing songs, but it's obvious from his lyrics he's always been a keen observer of life. A number of elements combine to make "You Can't Go Back" a wonderful listening experience. Bantz has a strong vocal presence, calming like James Taylor yet firm in delivery, and his guitar playing is consistently excellent, whether he's playing acoustic, electric or 12 string. The songs are well composed, as are the melodies and the lyrics, making one want to Go Back to these familiar-feeling stories again and again." Jason Hoffman-Whatzup.
Bantz's second release "Complete the Circle" contains powerfully written, guitar driven songs addressing the socio-political climate of GW Bush reign. "Complete the Circle" includes songs that ponder and question-"The Boy With the Fife"-a song driven by a lonely classical guitar about the futility of war;"The Time has Come"-a 10 minute reggae jazz/fusion jam that hsa a moving groove-about how change can/will come if we raise our collective consiousness and "Prophets and Sages" a song of varying tempos with an ending of haunting vocals and liquid guitar. "Turn the Night into Day" on "Complete the Circle" pleads for the darkness to be turned to light in a flat out rocker of screaming horns and wailing lead guitar. Bantz expresses perspective and wry humor in "Yeah, Yeah (Politician)Blues"-a soprano sax, toe tapping, swing driven tune. He ends "Complete the Circle" with two songs of promise and hope. "Roll Like A River" with it's harmonica, twelve string and flowing pedal steele guitars expresses trust/faith in free people and democracy. The journey ends with the title song-"Complete the Circle"-a song that starts with a moderate tempo but builds in pace and intensity to a jamming crescendo-"let your love set you free- right now". The music on "Complete the Circle" is complimented by the exceptional cover art of Thomas Abbott and lay-out/graphic design of the award winning Matt Kelley of One Lucky Guitar. The music and artwork on "Complete The Circle" combine to create/shape an extraordinary journey. "Complete the Circle" "is a real band working together, musicians communicating with each other through their instruments, expertly performing these seven wonderful songs for those who have ears." Jason Hoffman-WHATZUP
ken is currently working on a new recording project with a projected release date of fall 2012.