Mediocre Rise to Fame
JOHN KAYS Singer/Songwriter John Kays has been called a cross between Leon Redbone meets Asleep at the Wheel meets The Rolling Stones. His wry and dry sense of humor shows in his songs and their slightly skewed, but always fun, look on life. Born in Pensacola, Florida sometime in the mid to late 1950's, John spent his early years traveling the world with his mom and dad and two sisters. His father, a Naval aviator, was stationed in such diverse places as France, Washington, DC, Trinidad and Va. Beach, VA. John spent his teenage years, after his father's retirement in Va. Beach, learning to skateboard, surf, play guitar and catch up on American television. After graduating from high school and several ill-fated attempts at jobs, John decided to travel, moving to Arkansas with a friend, for no particular reason. After Arkansas he moved to San Diego, Hawaii and eventually after years of being on the road made his way back to Va. Beach, where he enrolled at the local community college for a degree in computer science. His first guitar lessons came when he was seven years old and living in Trinidad. He took lessons from an old Trinidadian man on an old guitar his mom had given him. John put the guitar down for several years after moving back to the States but eventually picked it up again and taught himself to play by ear (and boy, were his ears tired!) He was soon writing his own songs and began performing them at local open-stages where he also met his wife, Cindy. With Cindy he began learning about folk music, in particular Irish folk music. Together they perform at Irish pubs in the Va. Beach area. In addition to the guitar, John has taught himself to play the Irish button accordion, the concertina, the bodhran (Irish frame drum) and the banjo and is currently working on learning the harmonica. John's songwriting influences include, Leon Redbone, the Rolling Stones, Asleep at the Wheel, Peter Case, Bob Wills and the Talking Heads. When not working at his 'day job' as a courier for Federal Express, he can be found practicing, writing or learning a new song on any of his many instruments. Email John at: RagtimeJon@aol.com.