|Kraig Kenning | Mackinac Island Music Festival|
photo by Kate Levy | www.katelevyphotography.com
His electrifying stage presence has been honed over 20 years as a live performer throughout the U.S. At National Guitar's 1st Annual Slide Competition, Kraig took first place honors as Best Unsigned Artist. He has opened for Mick Taylor of the Rolling Stones, and slide guitar master Sonny Landreth; and he has shared lineups with club and folk series favorites such as John Gorka and Patti Larkin. His skills have also found a rewarding second home in the blues arena as part of an acoustic duo with noted bluesman Steve Arvey. It's a pairing that not only swept crowds off their feet at Chicago's renowned annual Blues Fest, but also resulted in critical praise and worldwide airplay for their collaborative "Pass the Hat" CD.
According to Blues Review Magazine, "The vocals are sincere and pure while the strumming, slide and pickin' are top-shelf."While there is a distinctly affecting quality to Kenning's sound, his warmth and wisdom have helped create a universal appeal. He transmits his own brand of special through one of the broadest range of venue bookings in the business. Kraig has played some of the nation's largest, most respected music festivals, as well as classic clubs like the Vic and Fitzgeralds in Chicago. At the same time, he has also taken traditionally smaller gigs to heart, and expanded his venue selection to include public library auditoriums, state parks and nature sanctuaries. "Those kinds of shows become a real 'mini-concert' and I would not sell them short. The atmosphere is intimate, and the environment is conducive to my music and my lifestyle." And Kraig's enthusiasm for the outdoor is common knowledge among fans. "The kinds of audiences who dig me know that I love being in those places with them. I camp there myself, and we create something special every time. Imagine being in the middle of nowhere, at a beautiful state park, enjoying live music by the light of a campfire and tiki torches. I hope I can continue to do even more of those kinds of shows on my journey."