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Singer-songwriter, Korby Lenker, chats about his influences, favorites & more

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Hailing from the UK, singer-songwriter Korby Lenker, has a gift with words and making music. He's opened shows for Ray LaMontagne and Willie Nelson, Nickel Creek and Keith Urban, and won the Merlefest songwriting contest. There's no denying that Lenker is multi-talented and has been awarded for his experiential lyrics and music. He's currently out on the road touring and supporting his sixth effort, self-titled album. He's performing tonight at The Evening Muse in Charlotte, NC and we chatted with Korby about his influences, why he decided to pursue music, helpful insights for other self-aspiring musicians, and much more. Read on to discover more about the dynamic Korby Lenker:

What and who are your influences reflecting your songwriting?

Korby: Paul Simon, Neil Young, The Violent Femmes,

Why did you decide to pursue music? What would you be doing instead if you couldn't pursue music?

Korby: I have wanted to play music since I was 8, pretty much from the moment I could pound out 'I Heard It Through the Grape Vine" on piano. When I was in 3rd grade the girl i had a crush on asked our teacher if she could stand next to me for the Christmas musical, because she liked the way I sang. I thought, "there is a future in this.."

Got any insights to share with fellow music makers and singers?

Korby: One of the trickiest aspects of the artistic life involves criticism: specifically knowing when to listen to other people and knowing when to put your middle finger up and leave your mark the way you see it. Much of my career has been spent negotiating this territory, with mixed results.

Who was your first concert and do you have a favorite?

Korby: The Cure in Salt Lake City in about '89. I was in 8th grade. My mom's friend drove us four hours from our little town in Idaho to the arena in SLC. We ratted our hair and put makeup on like Robert Smith. I knew all the words to all the songs. Within a few months, we had started our first band. A few months after that, we were touring junior highs throughout southern Idaho. Man I never looked back.

What was your first album on cassette, vinyl and/or CD?

Korby:

First cassette tape was INXS Kick. I played it ALL THE TIME.
First CD was the 52s Love Shack.
First Vinyl was a used copy of Neil Young's Heart of Gold album, which I still play.

Is there any music that makes you cringe?

Korby: Modern Radio rock. Iggy Pop described the sound as "White Men on MSG". That sounds about right.

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