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Music Notes for April 1,2010

by Mary-Ann Brandon

Willson & McKee

(part one) April 10, 2010

CD release party and homecoming event at the Francisco Center for Performing Arts in La Veta

Start time:  7:30

Tickets will be on sale at Charlie’s Market(La Veta) and Mike’s Coffee Barn (Walsenburg)

$10 each, seating is limited to 89 

There will be goodies on hand that night, BYOB

    When people set out on the path to make music their life, the road traveled is sometimes akin to a journey in a wagon on a dirt road.  For a very small percentage, the conditions allow for extreme comfort, but for most journeymen, it is a labor of love that promises a lot less glamour than the average person would like to imagine.  It can offer a lot of interesting experiences and for those who have the wanderlust, it can be an agreeable life.

    Many people set out to make a name in a major entertainment city.  People flood into Nashville daily with the dream of “the big score”.  Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Austin have similar stories.  Very few who arrive with stars in their eyes rise to any level of prominence and most find it too hard to handle.  The low pay, lack of insurance, insecurity, constant rejection and the work ethic involved cause the vast majority to give up.

    There is another scenario… Around the world there are musical acts who find a niche and have such a strong passion that they find an alternative route.  Frequently these are the artists who must self manage every detail of their careers.  The work involved to be an independent artist in music is incredibly daunting.  One such musical act is Huerfano County’s own “Willson & McKee." 

    Kim McKee and Ken Willson are award winning Celtic musicians and songwriters.  McKee won a prestigious National Mountain Dulcimer award in 2002 and as a duo their list of awards is impressive indeed.  (for more detail than space in this article will allow, visit their website @  They are warm and personal performers who are obviously very engaged with their audience.  These two are hard working singer/songwriters who have found a way to make a life on the folk circuit.  This is no small feat, given that they are competing for slots with artists who have the backing of major label and major independent label machines.  Having just returned home from a grueling tour that took them into the frozen Rockies in the dead of winter, they are finally having a few weeks to refresh themselves before the next round of work.  During this down time the duo is preparing a homecoming CD release party for their local fans.  This show will feature the music from their seventh CD entitled “How Changed From the Time.”  Inspired by a line from a Robert Tannahill poem and their tour of Scotland last year, the material on their latest CD is described by McKee as being dear to their hearts.

 (To be continued in part two, next week.)

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