Ken McChord - Guitar, Slide Guitar, Mandolin

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I've played guitar most of my adult life, ducking in and out of bands for a lot of years. Some were good, others were better. Seems like I fell out about 8 years ago (2010) and for some reason I stopped pursuing the band dream. Maybe it was me getting older, maybe I was ready to try other things. But I've always kept playing, albeit at a much slower pace. Along the way I picked up a mandolin and started learn stuff on it. I took lessons on mandolin, a 6 month period of sight reading classical mandolin and a few jamband style lessons. I'm still a novice but I'm learning and having fun with it. Lately I've been playing a lot of acoustic, whether it be my 6 string Martin, my 12 string Martin or my Weber mandolin. I'm digging into songs again, taking the time to learn a lot of things that I ignored in the past.

I've developed this page to serve as a sort of musical demo, a way to put myself out there and hopefully find a fun situation to play in again. To your right you'll find a brief synopsis of my musical experience. Below I am describing some of the bands I've been in along the way, listed in order of importance to me or rather the bands that I considered to be the most successful. I am including some recordings we made along the way to give you a sense of what I am capable of doing on the instrument. There are some originals, mostly covers. Some songs are serious attempts at recording music to sell at our gigs, some were demos designed to get gigs. And some are just oddball things that somewhat shape the person I have become on the instrument. I'm looking forward to getting back into music.

Crosswind - A Philadelphia cover band. 2004-2010

Crosswind was a band that I put together with a few friends from my old job. We were a cover band, no originals. We recorded all of the tracks below at my house in southern NJ, and the recordings were done on the Akai DPS24. We worked on harmonies a lot, and the Brian Wilson song shows that work well. This band could cover the Beatles quite well, we even covered "And Your Bird Can Sing". I really wish we had recorded that one. Check out Wooden Ships, the final track of the demo. That was an idea I had been working on for years, the cover is pretty close to the original CSN version however we stretch it out a bit and find some space to jam. All the lead guitar work is mine, much of the rhythm work in Brian Wilson, Wooden Ships is mine as well. This band had solid musicianship, it was a pleasure to jam with those guys!

All the tracks below were pulled from our demo cd. They're full length versions of our take on these songs.
  1. Take Me To The River
  2. Brian Wilson
  3. Any Major Dude
  4. Into the Mystic
  5. One
  6. The Man Who Sold The World
  7. Wooden Ships

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Indoe Loop - A Northern Virginia original rock and roll band. 1994-2008

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Indoe Loop was a band that went through many changes throughout the years. It originally started when, after I bailed on a cover band called Blue Monkey, the drummer and I started searching for players for a new band. We came across Joe Herbert as our bass player, sporting an old school Gibson SG bass and away we went. We started out playing Grateful Dead covers (Joe has a depth of knowledge of the GD that few rival) and searched for another guitarist. We met a number of players, finally settling for a guy by the name of Chris Terrifranca. Chris had an old Dumble amp, an original Mutron III and just sounded like Jerry. At some point early on Joe started crowing about having originals that we should try, man was he on to something there. We quickly moved from the cover scene to originals, lost Chris, gained an exceptional bassist named Roy Richardson and Joe moved to rhythm guitar and I primarily focused on lead guitar. We ended up trading out drummers and our lineup was complete. We recorded a nice homemade full length CD and we played a lot. Festivals, local bars, regional dives (Baltimore 8x10 club, Grog and Tankard in DC to name a few). This was a band where I believe I had the most growth as a musician, a band where I felt like I found a bit of a voice. After moving to the Philadelphia area I keep in touch with Joe and sat in with him and the band whenever time permitted. Since then I've kind of fell out of contact, something I regret.

A few of the tracks below come from the CD, and a few are some rehearsals that seemed like high water marks. I've got boxes of this stuff, we recorded everything. I'll probably be adding to this in the future.

  1. Can't Slow Down
  2. Truth
  3. So Far
  4. Status Quo

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Refuge - A Northern Virginia original and cover acoustic band. 1998-1999.

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Refuge started as a group that I put together with an old friend Fred Karam. Fred and I worked together in Leesburg VA, and we both played guitar (albeit Fred was and is infinitely more talented than I'll ever be). We started auditioning vocalists and met Paul Jamieson, who at the time was a lawyer for some big DC law firm. Paul brought along singer and guitarist Jeff Himmelman to a rehearsal, and I brought some percussion and bass in the form of some old friends from a previous band named Blue Monkey. Early on Fred and I parted company, basically I was a jerk and pretty much I regret that move. That can sometimes be a trend with me…

Paul and Jeff were two of the finest vocalists I know, incredibly talented guys. We played fun covers, things like Dave Matthews, Counting Crows, James Taylor, Simon and Garfunkel, just to name a few. I recorded most of our rehearsals at this point, we worked on a demo with this band on ADAT, and we recorded a few originals. Again this was mostly a cover band, but we dabbled into originals with Paul Jamieson and I being primary song writers. There are a few originals in the demo that accompany the covers. Unfortunately I was mostly concerned with a demo to give to club owners, so most of the songs are just excepts. In hindsight that was a mistake!

Paul had connections at the White House (Clinton administration) so we managed to score a White House Christmas party, that was cool. We had some regular gigs at a cool northern VA jazz club, and basically some fun times. Then a few months after it started the whole thing just fell apart, and for the life of me I can't remember why. Paul and I continued to record together, I like to call that Refuge, part II.

All of the lead acoustic guitar work is mine, and the rhythm was split between Jeff and myself.
  1. Fly From Heaven
  2. Omaha
  3. Smile
  4. #41
  5. Steamroller
  6. Ideas of You

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Refuge - part II

After the band split up, which was a weird story and probably best left untold, Paul and I reconvened to start recording originals. Paul was going to start a band (I think that's right) and I was back with Indoe Loop and jamming with some other guys that I met. Paul wanted to record an album for his Dad who was very sick and didn't have long to live so we hit this pretty hard. I think we finished up and once I had a CD for Paul to take home his Dad got to hear it a few weeks before he passed. I was happy to have been a part of something that I found to be a profound gesture of love. A few years later Paul had a band in DC, real professional guys, and he recorded his first album which he called "My Father's Son". Our recordings served as a template and demos for that project.

Almost all the guitar work is mine. Recorded in my upstairs jam room at my home on ADAT.
  1. Father's Son
  2. Cut Me Open
  3. More Of What We Are
  4. You Alone
  5. Sunday Morning
  6. By Request

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