Thursday, July 1, 2010

Black people love Ken Apperson: How a skinny white boy gets down

Posted By on Thu, Jul 1, 2010 at 3:05 PM

If I know anything as an honorary black person, I know that blac

click to enlarge ken apperson plays guitar.
k people don't fake feeling music. There's no such thing as a polite head-bob; something has to seep inside of them [us] and make them [us] move. And the crowd at Green Iguana in Ybor last Thursday...they [we] were feelin' it.

Ken Apperson. Local musician. Skinny white boy. Within five minutes of watching his set, you can tell that he's not just playing music, but that he is music. It's rare that you find someone who has a voice that is just as much of an instrument as the guitar strapped to his chest. He slips seamlessly between a velvety tenor and a falsetto that will subtly strip your clothes off. Speaking of, his fingerwork on guitar suggests that he may or may not be a ferocious lover. It's really not up to me to say. Cigarette, anyone?

Ken plays some covers. Anyone can play covers, right? Not the way he does. Ken plays some hip-hop. On guitar. It's fascinating to watch, really. It takes a special kind of talent to take a hard-hitting song that is notorious for being over-produced and synthetic, and translate it into a Maroon 5-ish type track that is something else entirely. You should see what he does with "Lollipop." Weezy F would choke on his phase vocoder. More so than covers, however, Ken's heart lies within his original tracks like "Keep Dreaming."

click to enlarge ken apperson at green iguana.

Ken is a true artist. Starting at the age of 16, on his mom's "piece of shit, no-name acoustic," as he says, Ken taught himself the basics. With the help of the internet, he played that guitar until his fingers bled. His mom got him lessons for his next birthday, and within a year, he was the one doing the teaching. Hailing from St. Louis, music was the thing that brought Ken to Tampa when he was 21.

And now Tampa's lucky to have him. Here's his upcoming local schedule for the month of July:

7/2 Gilligan's Bar & Grill, Tampa 4:30-8:30 PM

7/2 JJ's Cafe and Bar, Ybor 9:30 PM-1:30 AM

7/9 Green Iguana, Ybor 5-8 PM

7/9 JJ's Cafe and Bar, Ybor 9:30 PM-1:30 AM

7/10 Green Iguana, Ybor 1-5 PM

7/13 Channelside Courtyard 4-8 PM

7/15 Centro Cantina, Ybor 9 PM-1 AM

7/16 Palm Pavilion, Clearwater 1-5 PM

click to enlarge ken apperson sings.

7/16 JJ's Cafe And Bar, Ybor 9:30 PM-1:30 AM

7/22 Green Iguana, Ybor 9 PM-1 AM

7/23 JJ's Cafe And Bar, Ybor 9:30 PM-1:30 AM

7/24 Jannus Landing Rock for Research

7/30 Havana Room, St. Pete 10 PM-2 AM

If you can't make it to one of those shows, you can find Ken every Sunday at TinaTapas in Channelside from 6 to 10 PM.

Don't let the contagious smile and the boyish charm fool you, Ken Apperson gets down to business. Call him, and he can make it juicy for ya. Yeah, I'll take that cigarette now.

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