Country rock singer/songwriter, Kenny Young Sr., grew up jamming in the trailer behind his Tuckahoe home.
At age 21, the Upper Township native took his music to a new level, leading a local band called Tribulations where his dreams of traveling the world, making it big and having the world know his name were born. In the '90s, back when tape cassettes where still popular, Tribulations released their first cassette - a step towards something big, Young thought.
But, then life happened and happy as he was, the music career hit a hurdle. In '91, his wife, Tammy, gave birth to their first son, Kenny Young, Jr. and in '93, their second child, Tyler Young, was born. In order to raise and support his family, Kenny Sr. had to put his music on hold and began contract work.
Still taped on the wall of the trailer out back is a hand-drawn sign with "TRIBULATION" written across it. Taking it down would mean saying goodbye to his dream. But that wasn't an option.
On Friday, Sept. 23, Kenny Young Sr., who signed a record contract with Tommy Naples Music, LLC, will pick up where he left off, kicking off his three-month tour through the South and celebrating the release of his album "Kenny Young: Simple Things," at Levari's Seafood & American Grill in Upper Township. The Kenny Young Band will perform at 9 p.m., after Outlet at 7 p.m. and Shelly Rann at 8. Outlet features Young's sons, Ken and Tyler, along with their cousin Josh Wise.
"Kenny Young: Simple Things" tells the story of his life, he said, including lyrics of love for his wife of 25 years, memories of a grandmother who died in 1989 and all the simple things that made his life worth living.
He will be traveling with fellow musicians Mitch Sutton, on guitar, Steven Kyle, on guitar; Mike Contino, on bass, and Jim Kelly on drums. After the two area shows, the tour moves to Nashville and continues on to Las Vegas, where the guys will play at the 2011 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo which will be held from Dec.1-10.
"I'm throwing all my eggs in one basket," Young said. His plan is to make a career out of his music and quit contracting. "My biggest dream is to fill a venue by my name, or at least hit the B-list," he said.
Is he nervous? Yes. Is he confident? Of course, he said. Is he ready? More than ever.
"There is no looking back now. It's not like building a house or working on a car. Once you go, you can't take a break," Young said. "You better be in key because you can end it all right here."
Bill Delaney, Young's tour manager and booking agent, said he has never been more sure of anything in his life than the coming success of Kenny Young.
"You can feel his music," Delaney said. "I've been around music for 28 years, and I believe in this project, or I wouldn't be on board."
Delaney, too, will be on tour.
As for his wife's feelings about him being away for three months, "she said, 'You would be a fool if you didn't do it, because you can do it,'" Kenny said of Tammy. "Everyone I tell says I should have done this a long time ago. When you're a musician, you're strumming 'til the day you die."
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Hear the music
The Kenny Young Band will perform at 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, at Levari's Seafood & American Grill at the intersection of Routes 50 and 631 in Upper Township. For information, call the Grill at 609-628-2225 or email email@example.com.