Mike & Amy Aiken
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Hailing from Lincolnton, North Carolina, country music welcomes one of its freshest faces with Kelby Costner. Blended with a collection of musical influences like Travis Tritt, Eric Church, and Travis Meadows, Kelby’s old soul, and deep-rooted spirit will take you back to classic days of country music with his profound and honest lyrics. At an early age, he began taking guitar lessons until his teacher moved away and he had forgotten almost everything he had learned. It was not until after high school that with dedication and persistence he relearned how to play guitar. A relentless writer and seasoned live performer, he knows how to captivate an audience instantly, filling every dusty corner of the room.
Following his move to Nashville, Kelby has recently shared the stage with other major acts such as Collin Raye, Love and Theft, Parmalee and Mark Chesnutt while selling out clubs in his home state of North Carolina. Kelby released the single 'Hold On' in June 2017 to rave reviews, to date this single has over 500k independent streams. He has also worked to create an ever-growing social media presence and has garnered over 2 million views on Facebook with his cover of Brett Young’s, “In Case You Didn’t Know.” Country Music Nation and Country Rebel have also penned Kelby for his rendition of Randy Travis’ “Three Wooden Crosses” while Country Music Minute named him “ The Artist To Watch of 2017.” Kelby is the true definition of the term “hard work pays off.”
Kelby has recently teamed up with Grammy-nominated Producer and CMA/BMI songwriter of the year Ross Copperman (Keith Urban, Dierks Bentley, Blake Shelton) and Phil 'Philbilly' O'Donnell (Craig Morgan, Josh Thompson) for the production of his debut EP with the single 'I Need My Girl released on January 11th, 2019.
Following the January release of ‘I Need My Girl’, Costner delivered a boot-stompin' return to classic country with the March 22nd release of his new single ‘Somewhere’ A throwback that’s sure to connect straight to the heart of classic country fans.
2019 is shaping up to be a big year, we are proud to introduce a new era of southern heart and soul with Kelby Costner.
Life on the fringe has its benefits, not the least of which is the perspective from an outsider’s view. Northwind Records is proud to announce the release of Mike Aiken’s seventh studio album, WAYWARD TROUBADOUR. Aiken’s 11-song package is the anticipated follow-up to the Grammy nominated Captains & Cowboys (produced by Dan Baird, Georgia Satellites). As the first track’s title indicates, ‘Everything Changed’ with this album. Another conceptualized work that each of us can relate to, WAYWARD TROUBADOUR tells tales of trouble and charm.
Aiken says he wasn’t going to stop, not until he achieved what he was after. “I had a very clear sound in my head for this album, one I’ve always wanted to capture and I was not going to settle. At this point in my career I don’t have time for folks who don’t believe in the music 110%. These are the folks I want to write, record and perform with.”
Of the eight original songs on this album, six are co-writes. Two Lane Highway was penned with Henry Paul (Outlaws, Blackhawk, Henry Paul Band) who also lent his talents to mandolin and vocals on this timeless, sweet track. Nashville Skyline, written with Chris P James (Burrito Brothers), covers the troubadour’s view of Nashville as seen from any highway leading in to town. Mike included two very different songs he wrote with Paul Jefferson, the Bob Wills-esque, Everything Changed, and the tense song about not being judgmental, Hard Working Working Girl. Longtime friend and co-writer, Tim Buppert and Mike created the more frivolous offerings with Hangover Helper and the Gypsy Jazz-flavored, A Little Lazy In Your Life. The three covers were chosen for their content and the songwriters, rather than audience familiarity – Real Mean Dog (Robbin Thompson, Gregg Wetzel) for Robbin, longtime friend, fellow sailor and songwriter, Dead Man Runs Before He Walks (Mark Collie, Shawn Camp) for its somber story, and Penelope (Christopher Hynes) for its reminder that the grass is not always greener elsewhere. The self-penned songs Travelin’ Bone and Chesapeake give an autobiographical peek into Mike Aiken.
Wayward, by definition, is difficult to control, unpredictable, non-conforming. It took three studios and almost as many years to complete this troubadour’s collection of true north. Tracking began in Austin, Texas late in 2016. Aiken then found his way to Latitude Studio South in Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee. Here is where the magic started, where the wayward musicians could be themselves and Mike could begin to capture what he heard in his head on the vintage equipment.
Tom Hurst (Gary Allan, Sister Hazel, Wang Chung, Backstreet Boys, Tracy Lawrence) on drums set the tone and character Mike was after. David Roe, bass, (Jerry Reed, Chet Atkins, Johnny Cash, Dwight Yoakum) came to track mostly electric and a couple of upright tracks. The vibe was right and the bass a-thumping. Ten of eleven tracks ended up with upright. Kenny Vaughan, acoustic, electric (Marty Stuart) shared the guitar work with Mike adding grit, tension and color. Ben Probus rounded out the band on fiddle. This small band of special folks were like-minded in the studio to bring the collaborative sound Aiken was looking for.
If anybody has earned the title of WAYWARD TROUBADOUR, Mike Aiken has. He ran away as a kid to play music, he became a licensed USCG Captain, he has sailed over 30,000 bluewater miles on his own sailboat and logged countless miles on the road performing in North American and Europe.
Put this record on and become part of the journey. Catch a show and you’ll be happy you tasted the flavor of Mike’s sincerity.
The Grey Eagle
185 Clingman Ave
Asheville, NC, 28801