Hello, everyone. My name is Brian McKinny, and I want to welcome you to my new blog site, From the Hip. First, I’d like to tell you all a little about myself so that you’ll have a better understanding of who I am, and what this web blog will be about.
I’ve been playing music for as long as I can remember, teaching myself to play several instruments as a child — starting with the violin and cello, then moving to the clarinet and saxophone, and then finally to more contemporary musical instruments such as the acoustic guitar and keyboards.
After learning to play several instruments, most quite competently – going as far as being selected to California’s State High School Honor Bands for three of my four years in high school on the clarinet and the tenor saxophone, I finally decided to focus my efforts on playing the drums and to continue with my singing, both of which always came quite naturally to me.
I have more than 30 years of music industry experience. I am a professional musician, working as a drummer/singer with east coast variety bands, most notably as the drummer and singer for Smylin’ Jack, as a sub-drummer and sit-in vocalist with regional favorites, Shirkaday and Big Fat Daddy, and briefly as the drummer for Westpole. Before moving eastward to Virginia in 1997, I played in several original music bands on the west coast, most notably as the drummer for Big Midget, as the sub-drummer with KLR, and numerous shows sitting in with the Charlie Brechtel Band in the San Francisco Bay area.
Currently, I am the senior editor, writer, and music critic/reviewer for Music Insider Magazine. As the senior editor and writer, I have interviewed artists from such bands as Sevendust (guitarist, John Connolly), Collective Soul (drummer, Johnny Rabb), The Winery Dogs (guitarist/singer/songwriter, Richie Kotzen), Sponge (singer/songwriter, Vinnie Dombroski), Soul Asylum (singer/guitarist/songwriter, Dave Pirner), Hoobastank (singer/guitarist/songwriter, Doug Robb), Australia’s Arcane Saints (singer/guitarist/songwriter, Michael John), and Grammy Award-winning producer and engineer, Toby Wright, and many more.
During my interviews with these and other artists, I try to take a different tack when speaking with them, focusing on some of the aspects of their career that others might tend to gloss over, or miss entirely. My intentions are to get into the heart of what makes them who they are— to get a glimpse into their deepest thoughts on their creative processes, to find what inspires each of them to create music, to use sound and lyrics to create mental imagery to evoke such strong, palpable emotions within the listener.
I have also worked as a live sound reinforcement engineer, stage manager/director, and producer on both coasts for numerous shows and venues, including as the Stage Manager and Co-Producer of the Bay Area Blues Society‘s annual Blues Awards Show; as a live remote broadcast production assistant on Rock Radio 98.5 KOME’s ”Blazy & Bob Morning Show“; as security, stage management, live sound reinforcement engineer, and lighting designer/technician at many live music concert venues on the east and west coasts.
So, now that you know a little bit more about me, I hope that you will come here often and check up on what I’ve been up to, what I’ve been working on, as well as what I’ve been paying attention to out in the world. I am in the process of figuring out exactly what I want to include in this new weblog, so bear with me while I get my sea legs as I mess around with the format of this site, as well as the different kinds of topics and subjects that I want to include in this little endeavor. You can be sure that I’ll be covering music heavily, from news to reviews, concerts and festivals, and equipment and gear reviews and recommendations.
If anyone of you has any suggestions for topics interesting to you that I could perhaps cover, please feel free to let me know your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below. I will try my best to read them all and to respond personally as my time permits.
So now that the introductions are done, I want to thank you for taking the time from your busy day to visit my blog, and to invite you to return again and again, as you are always welcome here!