Saturday, August 19th, 2017

Rockabilly guitarist Taylor to perform January 10

Posted: Friday, December 13, 2013

Roanoke’s Cottage Event Center plays host to a night of the music of legendary singer Elvis Presley with their “Elvis Birthday Bash,” starring guitar virtuoso Kenny Taylor. The event is a fundraiser for the Northeast Indiana Honor Flight.

The event will feature nearly two hours of Elvis songs, ranging from bestsellers like Jailhouse Rock, All Shook Up and Burnin’ Love to lesser known selections from the King of Rock & Roll’s 31 films. Unlike performances by Elvis imitators, the concert is not an impersonation but is meant to honor Presley’s art and his influence on popular music.

Guitarist Kenny Taylor is among the most highly regarded musicians in the area. His former band The Blue Moon Boys opened for such guitar legends as Bo Didley, Dick Dale and Stray Cats’ Brian Setzer. He has also played lead guitar with Detroit based Rockabilly band Twistin’ Tarantulas and has played with Carl Storie of Indianapolis’ popular Faith Band.

Among Taylor’s favorite styles of music are 1950’s Rockabilly, 1960’s Surf Music and various forms of Blues. He often performs with his instrumental surf group KT & the Tikiongas, and plays lead guitar with The Bulldogs (formerly Spike & the Bulldogs). He also plays banjo with Fort Wayne’s Farmland Jazz Band. He also teaches guitar at the Sweetwater Academy of Music.

Taylor presents the Elvis tribute twice each year, around Presley’s January 8 birthday and in August around the anniversary of his death. In addition, he annually plays a night of Chuck Berry’s music to commemorate the rock pioneer’s birthday.

Popular Fort Wayne performer (and Cottage Event Center favorite) Shade Jonze (of the duo Shade ‘N Shannon) sums up Kenny Taylor this way:

“Some people can play guitar, others have humor, some are good with crowd interaction, show enjoyment in their craft and bring what they have every night. Kenny Taylor owns all of that. In spades.”

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show begins around 7:30 pm. A cash bar will be available, along with BBQ pulled pork sandwiches featuring product from sponsor Prairie Pure Pork. Other sponsors are Realtor Andy Eckert, Ness Bros. Realty and Roanoke sandwich shop Taste of Philly, Roanoke. Tickets are $10 per person, and may be ordered by calling (260) 483-3508.

Northeast Indiana Honor Flight provides World War II veterans along with veterans of other conflicts with cost free trips to Washington D.C. to visit various memorials.