Interview by Scott Preston
30 years ago, Kyle Hollingsworth set out on a career in music. Since then, with a wealth of desire and an abundance of ability, Hollingsworth has established himself as a formidable and versatile music talent, with the ability to contribute, collaborate, compose, and communicate on a number of levels and within a vast spectrum of musical environments. Today, as a member of acclaimed jam masters The String Cheese Incident, Hollingsworth is revered by both peers and fans for his ability to write and perform in a mosaic of styles, from rock to classical, ragtime to bebop. Playing in SCI has allowed him unrestricted access to the world of music, and has bestowed on him the kind of fearlessness a composer needs to flirt with such disparate genres. Those who’ve seen SCI know that they can jerk from funk to bluegrass on a chord change. “In the jam world, where there are no set ways of doing things, we’re not afraid to move in and out of genres,” he says, “and because of that I’ve learned to be creative, not only onstage but in the studio. I can get on board with something pretty quickly. You have to.”
His new Summer 09 release, titled “The There’s Now,” finds the musician coming in to his own. With solid song material and a slamming new band, Kyle is making his mark in the new, always-evolving music scene. “Then There’s Now” delivers a blend of vocal and instrumental tunes and seamlessly displays his growth as a musician and as a songwriter.
Cincy Groove: I understand your new album “Then There’s Now”, just came out?
Kyle Hollingsworth: Yes it was released yesterday. It was funny to this all this promotion for it, through having a web presence, crazy contests, chopping up a Hammond B3 organ with a chain saw (laughing).
Cincy Groove: What was the inspiration behind the new album?
Kyle Hollingsworth: Well, I have been meaning to do a vocal album for a while. My last album, Never Odd or Even was mostly a instrumental funky, jazz album. I wanted to expand myself as a musician but at the same time the album still has my signature funky sound, is accessible and danceable with more lyrical content.
Cincy Groove: Who else have you been working with?
Kyle Hollingsworth: I have been doing a lot of work with Speech from Arrested Development and DJ Logic in a group called soleside. It’s not really hip hop but more of a Beck, G Love kind of sound.
Cincy Groove: So what inspired you to use a chainsaw on a B3 organ in that promo video on your site?
Kyle Hollingsworth: It was part of a contest we were doing on the website for the release of the new cd. The first 500 people to pre order the new album would be registered to win a key from my B3 organ. I needed a way to access the keys and so an overkill way of doing it was to use a chainsaw. I could have used a screwdriver but it wouldn’t have been as exciting and the chainsaw was more for effect.
Cincy Groove: Did you have a good time at the Rothbury festival this past July?
Kyle Hollingsworth: That was a great time, at first we weren’t really sure what was going to happen because we were still feeling each other out in regards to playing music. So this festival was kind of a test run. It went really, really well and the month leading up to the show we had a great time rehearsing and hanging out together. I also played with Keller Williams.
Cincy Groove: How did the Listening Party / Beer Tasting go for you this past Monday the 9/14?
Kyle Hollingsworth: It went really well. I have been doing a lot of home brewing lately and was lucky enough to find a local brewery to help me make the beer to help celebrate the disc. The beer is called Hoppingsworth IPA. I got together with the Brewmaster there and we came up with a really strong beer. I’m still recovering from Monday (laughing). I imagine it will go fast, so go get some before its gone. I would like to send thanks to head brewer Hutch and the Mountain Sun for making it happen.
Cincy Groove: Who are the members of your touring band?
Kyle Hollingsworth: Myself on keys/organ, Dave Watts (drums), Garrett Sayers (bass) and Dan Schindt (guitar)
Cincy Groove: When did you realize music was going to be your path in life?
Kyle Hollingsworth: I have always has a passion for music. I studied music in school , but when I finished I originally came out to Colorado to become a Forest Ranger. Then I hooked up with a band here in Boulder where we played locally. Then when I got the gig with String Cheese 12-13 years ago and went on the road full time, i had to quit my day job. I then started to think this was the chance I had been waiting for. We were on tour for 240 days a year so there wasn’t much time to fit in anything else.
Cincy Groove: Are their any upcoming gigs your excited about?
Kyle Hollingsworth: Yes actually, this Saturday 9/19/09 I’ll be having my cd release party at the Fox Theater here in Boulder, CO. We will also have my new beer, Hoppingsworth I.P.A. available. Euforquestra is opening the show and they always bring great vibe to the room. Plus we end up doing some great music together at the end of my show. It is very over the top and with the combination of Hoppingsworth on tap and great sound, the show will be slamming. Also on Saturday (9/19) the band will be having a meet & greet / in-store performance at Bart’s CD Cellar here in Boulder at 2pm.
Sep 18 2009 Mishawaka Amphitheatre Bellvue, Colorado
Sep 19 2009 Fox Theatre Boulder, Colorado
Jan 3 2010 JAMCRUISE FT. LAUDERDALE