Dont Hurt to Dream
Bandography You've read the tabloids and seen every episode of VH1's "Behind the Music," and you think you've heard every story about every band to ever grace the stage...and then, there is Last Man Standing. Gary Kinder grows up in Middle America fascinated by the fact that the only songs his father ever sings are those of Elvis. So, at the age of five, Gary learns three chords on a dime store guitar and sings "That's Alright mama, mama that's alright" over and over until the whole neighborhood wants to use his guitar as firewood. He doesn't care though, and continues to sing until he figures out that if you know more than one song, people will actually take their earplugs out. The love of music is the offspring, an ugly but lovable little creature. Fast forward to Albuquerque New Mexico, 1982 and Gary has transferred to the University of New Mexico in order to attempt to become a world class athlete in the sport of track and field. While Gary trains 6-8 hours every day in the track, throwing the shot put, high jumping and running hurdles, he begins to spend his nights writing songs and learning how to play the guitar. The songs are bad and the guitar playing worse but it continues to be a wonderful diversion from the pain and suffering that Gary inflicts upon himself in the daylight hours. Little does he know that at some point, not unlike the passion for the decathlon that had overwhelmed him, the need for music will overtake his being and lead him down paths that no human should ever go (Music Row). After a very successful athletic career that is capped by 10 national team selections and an Olympic Trials Championship, leading to a birth on the 1988 Olympic Team, Gary moves across the country once again to become the track coach at the University of Virginia. The musicitis that had infected him while in New Mexico resurfaces and before long he is writing late night songs and playing on the weekends at small clubs in the Shenandoah Mountains. For some reason unknown to this day, Gary gets the idea that his songwriting is improving and that just the thing he needs to do along with sticking acupuncture needles in to his eye sockets is to record them. nter Barry Kinder Gary records a guitar/vocal demo and sends a copy to his brother, Barry, a professional musician, who is living in London, England. At the time, Barry is playing drums live and in the recording studio for the likes of Melissa Etheridge, Don Henley, Trisha Yearwood, Julie Fordham, and Kid Rock. Barry, being the ultimate optimist invites Gary to London to record these songs in a real studio, with real musicians. While in the studio, a songwriter friend happens by and hears the tracks being cut (it is important for our story that you know that the songwriter friend, Simon Clime just happens to have written the number one song in the world a few years earlier) and thinks Gary's are actually Nashville good. [Don't listen; your mother would have warned you], but Gary does and along with his demo tape of six songs he packs his comforts of a life as a college professor and heads to Guitar Town. While Barry remains in London and travels the globe several times touring and playing shows with Michael Bolton and Tina Turner, Gary is in Nashville working as a personal trainer to such stars as Pam Tillis, Kristen Osborne of SheDaisy, Julie Reeves, Rebecca Lyn Howard and the President of Capitol records, Scott Hendricks. rom off-stage left comes Toby Steele As Gary sits in the office of an off-music row, shady business type, a young confident guitar slinger walks in and essentially saves Gary from what could have been the end of what little he has left. Over lunch, probably Chinese buffet, the three discuss the sorry state of the music business and how they can change it all (because of course they have all the answers). Not long after, Gary and Toby find themselves writing songs together and setting out to conquer the Country globe with a band they call Steele Wheels. The songs and performances are getting better, but the business plan is not the one that will eventually take Nashville by storm and Steele Wheels goes flat. Toby, a native Nashvillian who has grown up playing with and around many of the Grand Ole Opry legends, decides to move to Michigan (you guessed it, a girl is involved) and starts a band in the great white north. With the band in shambles Gary goes back to coaching elite athletes and music stars, but the bug never dies and he continues to write songs. It is important to note that through all of these bouts of musicitis one person in Nashville is always there and keeps the light shinning in the right direction, that person is Trey Bruce. Trey is a world class producer and possibly the best/smartest writer in Nashville today. He has written #1 hits for Randy Travis, Faith Hill, and Diamond Rio. With Trey's help, Gary ends up signing as a staff writer at Warner Chappell Publishing and reinventing the band now known as Last Man Standing. At Warner Chappell the band concept is a three man harmony group of musicians all playing various instruments. The band writes and records more than 30 songs with the help of some of the best songwriters in the world including Larry Stewart from Restless Heart, John Bettis, Byron Hill, Neil Thrasher and Trey and Robin Lee Bruce. Picking up steam and building a loud buzz in Nashville the boys of LMS are readying themselves for a trip down the CMA red carpet when Warner Chappell is sold and most everyone inside the company is given their walking papers, including the champions within that had helped to create the awareness of Last Man Standing. Now the band has a choice; try to weather the storm inside a company with all new leadership, likely to clean house and get all new talent or use the knowledge, experience and confidence they have built while at Warner Chappell and find an independent record company that can support this turn key act. [Home Grown Tomatoes Music] With an album full of songs recorded and their first single immediately accepted by country radio Last Man Standing is ready to go back on the road and meet all the reasons they love making music in the first place. Barry's English band, Goosebump, splits up after six years and Gary immediately offers him a spot as drummer/vocalist/producer/engineer. They have grown up together, both loving music but have never shared the stage until Barry moves back to America and joins LMS. Everything is coming together, songs are climbing the charts, shows have been booked far in advance and the band is starting to gel like never before and then pop, the boys find themselves searching for a new, world class, vocalist that also plays bass guitar. This could have been catastrophic for an up and coming quartet, however, a friend of a friend of a friend (as it so often happens) introduces the band to the son of a Obion county farmer who has spent most of his musical career playing the indie music circuit with bands like Colossalhead, bstroke27, and Uva Mala. Micah Barnes is just what the foursome needs: a truly unique, musically gifted, half smoky mountain clogger, half urban break-dancer. Like a glove, the fit has been softened as the oil of time and testing has been applied, and with every minute and mile, the group gets tighter and more comfortable. We have not included any of the usual talk of sex, drugs and typical band type debauchery but have decided to leave that to your own twisted imagination. Please feel free to fill in any parts of the story you think are lacking and we promise never to deny them when we see you next.