The world is a strange strange place right now, and it has been awhile since we have gotten to share a fun artist feature with you all. But there is no better time than the present to try and bring a little bit of fun and normality to what has largely been a live music free Summer. The good news is that even though many of us still can’t get out for in person shows, there is a ton of new (or new to you) good music to discover. Kendall Street Company definitely fits that bill and brings just the kind of jam band sound that might help chase away some quarantine blues.
Kendall Street Company (KSC), hailing from Charlottesville, Virginia is made up of Louis Smith [Acoustic guitar, vocals], Brian Roy [Bass, vocals], Ryan Wood [Drums], Ben Laderberg [Electric guitar], and Jake Vanaman [Saxophone].In their relatively short history, the band has released three albums and three EPs. In normal, non-Covid times, the band is known to perform an average of 100+ shows a year. They have opened for acts like Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Umphrey’s McGee, Tauk, and Leftover Salmon. Cue my best announcer voice: but wait there’s more! Festivals. KSC has also performed at festivals throughout the country including: Lockn’ Floydfest, and Resonance.
On June 6, 2020, KSC released a coastal themed EP, The Nautical Aquatical, and on 8/5 the group unveiled a brand new animated music video for the album’s first single – Shanti the Dolphin. The Nautical Aquatical is aimed at highlighting the humorous and whimsical side of the band, chronicling the lives of a variety of under-the-sea friends. The album, recorded on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean in Miami, features a diverse range of genres. Including everything from jazz to surf rock to jam and more.
But back to Shanti – Shanti the Dolphin shares the album with a Manly Clam and an eel named Ernie (among others). During a time when so many music fans are finding themselves trapped inside, this fun theme seems to be a perfectly timed bit of fun. According to the band, Shanti the Dolphin started as a silly song about a dolphin statute (in Virginia Beach) that is much loved by Laderberg’s niece. However, the end result “is a rock-fueled underwater odessy featuring a well-intentioned dolphin leading an increasingly seedy lifestyle.” The video is available here and is a ton of nautical fun!
KSC is known for their extensive touring/performance schedule and they have been doing their best to find creative ways to continue interacting with fans. Throughout the spring and summer, KSC has been hosting live and archival streaming sets online. More recently, they have also begun holding a handful of intimate, socially distanced shows for limited numbers of fans (often 50 or fewer). They aren’t stopping there. The band also patented with their hometown (Charlottesville, VA) visitor’s bureau to produce a video highlighting the local community and encouraging people (when they are ready and safe) to come back out to local businesses. The video, “Join Us When You Can,” is aimed at promoting a hopeful message and promises that the local charm will still be waiting when the world is ready to get back out there.
We will be eager to keep an eye on KSC for the rest of the Summer and Fall and hope to have the opportunity to feature more bands that are working hard and being creative in their efforts to reach fans. And to bring a little spark of fun and hope.
The Nautical Aquatical is currently available on all major streaming services. Vinyl pressings of the album can be purchased through the band’s website. For more information Kendall Street Company, visit https://www.kendallstreetcompany.com/
You can also check them out on social media using the links below:
We would love to hear what you think of this totally nautical video! And definitely let us know if you have had the chance to check Kendall Street Company out in person.