Local Kansas City Music Scene
"Kansas City" was a big hit by Wilbert Harrison in 1959. The rock/r&b classic was originally written in 1952 by the pop songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller for blues/r&b artist Little Willie Littlefield. It has been covered by many artists including the Beatles. The history of the Kansas City music scene has also included Big Joe Turner, Charlie Parker, Pat Metheney, Burt Bacharach, Puddle of Mudd and Bloodstone.
The Kansas City metropolitan area consists of 15 counties in two states where the Missouri and Kansas Rivers meet. In the 2010 Census the metro population was over 2 million people. The main campus is University of Missouri-Kansas City. The local music scene is covered by The Kansas City Star.
Katy Guillen & The Girls * Chris Hazelton's Boogaloo 7 * Late Night Callers * Zeros * A Band Called Mouth * Amy Saia * Apples For Archers * Auternus * Basshunter * Bill Ordle * Brother Bagman * Cold Train Fusion * Erik Karlsson * 49 Stones * Ha Ha Tonka * Heather Thornton * InLike * John Aldrich * Joey Glenn * Josey Milner * Koko Conley * Ms. Erikka * Nicolette Paige * Night Owls * Noe Palma * OceansGiant * Paperclips * Paul Chandler * Ralston * Rick Lally * Rylie Brown * River Cow Orchestra * Sage and Sour * Scott Ford Band * Smooth Ice * Sounds of Escape * Stan Kessler * Steven Cooper *
KCUR: Katy Guillen & The Girls
by Bill Brownlee
Latenight Callers are seducing Kansas City music lovers
by Jenny Kratz, Pitch Music
Kansas City Local Music History
The parking lot of Fireside BBQ and Bar in Overland Park was the site of drive-in concerts three nights per week during the coronavirus pandemic of 2020. Accompanying the live music performances were car-hop food servers. These shows were billed as "Car-Antined Drive-In."
Jermaine White grew up in Kansas City and graduated from Leavenworth High is enjoying success as a music producer for TV personality/rapper Cardi B's hit "Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)." The song made number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in September 2017. The Kansas City Star published an interview with White on September 26, 2017.
One of the best ways for local talent to get exposure is at big events such as Kansas City Royals games. Timothy Finn at the Kansas City Star wrote about local music acts that get to perform at Royals games during the 2017 season, published on April 4, 2017. It's a concert music series presented by Ink Magazine. The acts include female blues band Katy Guillen & The Girls, Chris Hazelton's soul jazz group Boogaloo 7 on the Price Chopper Stage and the Zeros doing 80s covers on the Outfield Experience Stage. Finn mentioned that 2017 is the seventh year that Kansas City and Lawrence bands play for Student Night at the K. Katy Guillen & The Girls were named KCUR's "band of the week" on April 5, 2017.
Kansas City has many venues that offer live music. Some of the most talked about local music hangouts include Davey's Uptown Ramblers Club, Plaza III, The Blue Room, Blayney's of Westport, The Majestic Restaurant, The Levee and Beaumont Club. The Beaumont Club provides pool tables and sometimes volleyball courts. Blayney's also had pool tables, along with an outdoor deck. Jardine's Restaurant and Jazz Club offers a relaxing dinner atmosphere with live jazz. The Blue Room is another favorite place for jazz lovers, located in the Jazz Museum.
Pitch.com focuses on Kansas City news, dining music and arts. Much of the music section reports on national acts coming through town. Occasionally this section with feature regional talent such as Marty Hillard, who is a member Lawrence groups Cowboy Indian Bear and Ebony Tusks. He hosts events at the Bottleneck, which is a mix of national and regional acts. Some of the featured local acts have been Heartfelt Anarchy and MilkDrop. Pitch covered the 2013 album release of Red Kate called When the Troubles Come. Pitch also covered the first album by underground KC band Pedaljets in 23 years called What's In Between.
Abigail Hope Henderson died at the age of 35 on August 27, 2013 after a battle with breast cancer since 2008. She was a local scene vocalist who had performed with several local bands including Trouble Junction, the Gaslights and Atlantic Fadeout. As an activist she spoke of affordable health care for local musicians. She and her husband founded the Midwest Music Foundation to raise funds and awareness for local musicians on health care. She was written about in this Timothy Finn article 8/28/2013 in the Kansas City Star.
Box of Chalk is a website dedicated to the local Kansas City music scene. It lists several local artists and provides information on upcoming shows. Artists that have been spotlighted on this site include Mark Montgomery, Aaron Lucero, Cherub ProbCause, Tim Whitmer, Levee Town, Grand Marquis, Kim & The Gasman, Paper Buffalo, Jim Breur and The Wry Band. Some of the venues that the site links to include Jazzhaus, Midland Theater, Jazz on 39th, The Landing and Jazz Kitchen at Legends.
Another song called "Kansas City" entered pop culture from another region. Sneaky Sound System, an electronic group from Australia, issued a new song with the classic title in 2008. The band has won several awards in its native country.