Friday, April 1, 2011
The hard rock band, King’s Row, from Fulton, recently released its third major CD “Unbroken.”
The album consists of 12 songs adding up to nearly 78 minutes of blues and progressive rock inspired music.
In 1996, the group started out as the brainchild of Chris Couch, lead guitarist of Jamestown, who contacted Dale Hargis, Fulton, to write and record songs under the name Human Remains.
“He was always trying to get a band together,” Hargis says of Couch. “He always wanted to do something original, and at the time, the only thing you could get going was to play covers.”
In the mid-1990s, Hargis was getting burned out on playing cover songs in bars and wanted to write and record original music.
“We were both in the same boat,” said Hargis.
Couch later added Jim Hare, Mokane, into the mix as the bass player, and several years later, around 2008, Jim Brown of Quincy, Ill. on lead vocals.
“We decided we wanted a different range of vocals that we could not do ourselves, so we put out an advertisement over the Internet for a vocalist to do recording with us,” Couch said.
Instead of any money exchanging hands, the group worked out an artistic exchange.
“We had a studio and he had written his own album; we would perform his stuff and do the album for him and he would perform on our album,” Couch explains.
Hargis writes most of the lyrics in addition to filling the roles of drummer, rhythm guitar player, keyboardist and back-up vocalist on the musician side, and mixer, engineer and album artist on the production side.
The entire album “Unbroken” was recorded in Hargis’s home studio.
Hargis says he likes being able to play different parts in the band, because it allows the members to keep the group simple and cohesive.
“Rather than trying to pull in more people, I can do more than one thing on a song,” Hargis said. “Sometimes the fewer people you have collaborating, it goes a little easier.”
The name of the band is an homage to Henry Bellamann’s famous book about Fulton, “Kings Row.”
“It just kind of seemed fitting to utilize that name because of the area that we are in,” Couch said.
“We really liked it, because it sounds like you’re trying to be a little more artistic, a little more grown-up and it has great significance to the area where we are,” explains Hargis.
A grown-up name was necessary for the grown-up sound that the band sought out to make.
“One of the things we try to do is write songs about something instead of being mindless rock music — make the lyrics something you can read by themselves,” Hargis said.
While the band aims for a heavier sound, its members aren’t afraid to have a little fun.
“It just depends on the music and the mood of all of us at the time,” Hargis said.
Jim Brown wrote the lyrics for “Love Denied,” the fifth track on the latest album, and the band describes it as fun and quirky.
Overall, the band cites Rush as its major influence, along with Dream Theater and Van Halen but tries to incorporate many different genres into the music.
The band maintains strong connections to the community and recorded an introduction song for the South Callaway football team called “Glory.” It relies on word of mouth for exposure, and its albums can be purchased from individual band members, at The Wright Brothers’ Store in Callaway County, or online at www.cdbaby.com.
Go to www.kingsrowmusic.com for more information and the latest news on King’s Row.