Kevin M. Kraft answers the question: Who were or are your main musical influences?

Q: Who were or are you main musical influences?

Kevin: Many would probably laugh at the vast array of music that I love and has influenced me. The British band The Electric Light Orchestra epitomizes my typical hybridizing of musical styles and genres, with Jeff Lynne's always reliably captivating slide guitar work sealing it for me. I learned a lot from Lynne and the band about songwriting and arranging and unusual vocals and symphony, even something as "trivial" as the drumbeats Bev Bevan used in their songs. Besides that, I would have to say John Denver was a huge influence. Don't laugh! That man was a fantastic songwriter and vocalist. I wept the day he died, because we lost a fine artist. How to write excellently crafted songs and melodies I learned listening to his music. I've been influenced by rock and roll artists more than blues artists, which may surprise some, given my passion for cigar box slide guitar. But I'll tell ya: I love the blues! I'm obsessed with slide and bottleneck guitar. Since I couldn't play lead guitar worth spit, due to having stupid fingers, I picked up slide guitar. Actually, the truth is, I was an insomniac for a lot of my life. A chronic one. Because of this, my fine motor skills, which I would have used to learn blistering slide guitar, was chronically challenged. I couldn't get my fingers to work the way I wanted, no matter how much I practiced. So, under the tutelage of Lynne, Dwayne Allman, Joe Walsh and other rock sliders' tracks, I picked up slide guitar--and did so like a fish to water. I can indeed play the Allman Brothers' "Statesboro Blues" riffs with him. I'm soaked with sweat and exhausted by the end, but I can do it! (laughs)

Vocally, John Denver, Sam Cook, Russ Taff, Sherman Andrus and Daryl Hall start a lengthy list of singers I reveled in.

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Comment by Uncle John on Saturday

Hi, Kevin.  My influences are probably as broad as yours.  But for stuff I actually play or attempt: Mississippi John Hurt, Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark. Jimmy Rogers, and many others.

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