Posted On 19 Jun 2015
Tag: All Access Music Group, Allman Brothers, Amos Lee, Anna Rose, Artist Interview, Beatles, Berklee, Brandi Carlile, Carol King, Castle Creek, Chris Eves, Duane Allman, Fishman, Funk N Waffles, George Harrison, Jerry Garcia, Keaton Simons, Kim And Chris, Kim Monroe, Los Blancos, Paul McCartney, Phish, SIRSY, Tedeschi Trucks Band, The Barndogs, The Magic Bag, The Rollaways, Tony Lucca, Trey Anastiasio
Born in the heart of central New York, the alternative blues rock duo Castle Creek has hooked audiences from Portland, Maine to Austin, Texas. Comprised of award-winning lead vocalist Kim Monroe and Berklee trained lead guitarist Chris Eves, Castle Creek skillfully shares lyrics and instrumentals in a manner that resonates with crowds big and small.
Learn more about this talented duo in the following interview:
Can you remember the moment you two decided to start this band?
We had been touring as a duo using the name Kim and Chris for about a year when we decided that we wanted to release a full album of original material under a band name. We met at a mutual friends wedding prior to all of that and that was when we had first realized we were not songwriters and took a stab at writing together. That is where our first EP came from.
How did you decide on your band name? What other names were you considering?
When we toured as Kim and Chris Castle Creek, its a town south of Syracuse, seemed to be our nexus we always knew we were close to home at the end of our travels and when we would leave for the start of a new tour we would see that sign and get excited to be out on the road again.
How did you learn to play all those instruments? Is there any instrument that you would still like to learn how to play?
Chris started piano lessons at the age of five and moved onto guitar shortly afterwards. In middle school and high school he played saxophone and violin and his interest in playing other instruments grew. At college he hooked up with a bunch of very versatile players who were always looking to expand their musical repertoire. Kim started playing drums at about the age of 4 or 5 in her fathers home studio and would sing back up vocals to the Beatles in the car. As a graduation present from High school she got her first guitar and played throughout college but never very seriously until she met Chris and he started to show her how to play. In their first band together Chris taught her percussion and how to play keyboard. Chris would love to learn how to play the sitar and though he currently can play the harmonica he’d love to become better at it. Kim has an interest in learning how to continue to play piano better and would love to learn to play mandolin.
How do you think being from New York has influenced your career and your music?
Blues and roots music has a pretty strong hold in this area and we feel that we both identify pretty strongly with those genres. Listening to that music growing up was a huge influence.
Were elated because we already used a bunch of their stuff and we feel that for acoustic amplification they are unmatched. Its incredible to be a part of the Fishman family because we really feel they help us to sound our best on stage.
What bands have consistently inspired you and your music?
Chris has always been inspired by the Allman Brothers and Phish growing up. We both love Tedeschi Trucks Band and are huge Beatles fans. Kim is a huge Amos Lee fan. And closer to home we really admire The Barndogs and Los Blancos, they are some of the hardest working bands we know.
You are pretty busy these days touring. How have the gigs been? Any favorite shows so far? How have the crowds been?
Recently we were on tour with Tony Lucca and The Rollaways featuring Keaton Simons and Anna Rose, all of those shows were incredible. That band really taught us a lot and we loved watching them night after night, it never got old for us. A standout for us was The Magic Bag in Ferndale Michigan, the crowd there was electric and incredibly supportive. We played recently at Funk N Waffles with SIRSY and that show was really inspiring to be a part of they are an incredible band and even nicer people. Mostly we love meeting new people and seeing parts of the country we haven’t seen before, we are traveling soon to Ireland and Japan for festivals and are incredibly excited to see those parts of the world.
How has your friendship changed or transformed after starting this band?
We have a greater appreciation for each others talents and its impossible to tour as much with another person without becoming closer. We have a deeper respect for one another values and are very much on the same page musically.
Living or dead, who would you love to work with?
Kim would love to work with Paul McCartney, Brandi Carlile, George Harrison and Carol King. Chris would love to work with Jerry Garcia, Duane Allman and Trey Anastasio.
When you aren’t performing or working on new material, what do you do for fun? What are your hobbies?
Were both huge animal lovers. Kim loves to cook and garden, loves to do yoga and ride her bike in the summer. We both are into photography and painting and drawing when we get the time to do it. Hiking, camping, out door activities. Chris makes many of the pedals that we both play on stage. Recently a group of our friends all got together and brewed our first batch of beer so that was a lot of fun too.