Mickey Kennedy's Interview









HD : Could you introduce yourself and could you tell me what you did before to be a part of the band The Ranchhands ?

MK : I am Mickey Kennedy from right outside Nashville, TN. I grew up on a cattle farm, I went to college (University of TN), I started to sing at about 9 years old, I did local things in church, county fairs, things like that. I did independently for a while when I went to college. I worked during the week and sang during the weekend in Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, then I decided to focus on college. I got my college degree, graduated in 96. I worked on retail for a long while as well as sing on the side. I worked with a couple different bands, then I took a step back from music for a little while but I never lost the dream, the fascination of singing.









I am very blessed to meet Chris Tedesco a couple years ago, we met mutual friends. We worked together and now we have a great time.



HD : When did you realise you wanted to be a singer ?

MK : At a very young age, I always felt it, I got the click at about 14 or 15 years old. I have done a lot of jobs outside and I know this is what I wanted to do.

HD : It was your second tour in Europe this summer, did you notice some differences between last year and this year ?

MK : We travelled a lot of different places, we travelled more places this year. In 2003 we did 8 countries and this year we did 14 countries in 2 months. It was a lot more travel. Personally, I got to see a lot more, we saw different crowds. We had a good response and a wonderful time in every country we went to. It was amazing to see that the focus is on the music and people from all over the world do really love the music that we do. It’s not to make the best music out there but we strive to do good country music. It was not a band from Nashville or from New York, it was a band which produced good country music.

HD : Did you notice some differences between audiences in Europe ?

MK : Yes and no ! Primarily yes because of different cultures, the way how they responded. Somewhere they are a little more timid, but everybody was great.



















HD : Could you talk about your US Tour ?

MK : It was my first tour with this group. This is something we wanted to do, back home and play, and we’ll continue to do it. We travelled trough 8 different states from August to December, it was great to see these people appreciated the music we are able to produce. I am blessed everyday to be with such great musicians who can pick up a guitar or a fiddle and play anything that they want to play.
The love of music is a common thread trough out the States like it was in Europe. In the States we saw more couple dances than in Europe. In Europe , it’s more line dancers but you’ll learn in a couple years!!! (laugh).

HD : What is the difference between European audience and American audience ?

MK : The audiences can be the same, may be the interpretation of the music is different. Audiences don’t like the same songs in Europe and in the US. In the US , it’s more of the TOP40 chart songs, and in Europe, it’s more traditional country music songs but you can do traditional country music in both places, if you updated the new sound of country and that’s what we do, it’s all about how you play it. We play traditional country music but with our original sound, with the Ranchhands style. We don’t want to sound like anybody else.

HD : You did the same songs in Europe and in The States ?

MK : Primarily we did and we added a lot of songs in the States, the TOP40 songs.













HD : What has been your favourite gig ?

MK : I don’t know if I can list one. Each one has a positive aspect on it.

HD : Do you prefer to play on big festivals or small clubs ?

MK : Honestly, it doesn’t matter to me. I enjoy different aspects of each one. I enjoy the intimacy of being in a club, to where everybody can feel a part of the crowd and I enjoy festivals with the great royal rush.










HD : What would you like to do in your life that you have never done ?

MK : Lots of things! I think snow skiing or something adventurous. You know living in the south, we don’t get the snow ! Probably next year, we have some dates in Colorado, Wyoming. I could break a leg ! But with a broken leg I could sing !!!

HD : Which image do you have about country music in France or in Europe ?

MK : The popularity of country music has always been there and it’s growing each year we’ve been there. They still love the traditional values, the roots of country, but they go on on more mainstream, today’s country music.











HD : What would your fans be most surprised to know about you ?

MK : Probably, that I am a shy person. I know a lot of people don’t believe that but out of stage I am a private person. On stage, the music gives me that energy to do.


HD : What do you think about country music you listen to on the radio ?

MK : I like it, not all of it but we don’t have to like all of it. In today’s country music, I respect every artist but I have my legends like George Jones, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn that I grew up listening to. They formed my own style. In today’s country music, there are so many great artists out there, it’s difficult to pick up just one. Keith Urban is very talented and he is doing so much for country music.

HD : What is your main goal now ?

MK : We’re taking a break but we’re working individually on new songs. Our focus is the same as one year and half ago. Next spring we’re going back out in the States, back out in Europe. Our focus is to continue to bring good country music and to improve on our sound, on what we do. And it’s what you can ask on any group right now. If you loose faith on what you want to do, if you concentrate on different avenues, you can loose what you have.

HD : Do you think to release another album ?

MK : We hope to, probably not in a near future, it’s a cost factor but we get some new stuffs to come. We had a great response with our CD in Europe as well as in America. We were very exited about that.













HD : What is your personal philosophy ?

MK : Be patient, and live life everyday. Focus on what you can do today to make a better tomorrow.

Hope to see everybody soon, Thank you.

















Interview : Hélène Dagorn

January 2005