Alaskan singer-songwriter Kray Van Kirk will share his musical view from the Far North on Friday, March 8, 7:00 pm at Fiddlers Crossing. Van Kirk sings in the straight-ahead folk ballad tradition of such north-of-the-border legends as Stan Rogers, Ian Tyson and Gordon Lightfoot. He accompanies himself on 12- and 6-string RainSong graphite guitars.
It might seem odd, and hard, to be a touring musician while living in Alaska as a single parent, in a town with no road access -- the only way in or out for him is by air or water. But Van Kirk draws his inspiration from this life.
“A friend of mine once said I do everything the hard way,” he said, “and he might be right. But all this last winter, I listened to a number of interviews with musicians, actors, comedians and such, and the one thing that came through was that many, if not most, of them were successful because they were able to take what was generally viewed as a weakness or obstacle and make it their strength. I’m not quite sure how that might apply in my situation, but it’s encouraging and I’m sure not going to stop!”
His lifestyle in Alaska has also given him a different perspective on the “marketing” of his music-making. He calls his approach to writing and performing “Music without borders or cost.” He no longer records or sells CDs, because he says, “we've got enough things headed for the landfills, and more than enough ‘stuff’.” He said he used to be so focused on CD sales and the business end of things that it took away from the point of creating music that nourishes and expresses the soul. Instead, he freely gives his songs away over his website as “a deliberate movement away from the bottom line that seems to govern so much of our daily lives.”
Now, he said, “Every time I finish a new song I let it sit for a bit, and then it gets recorded and given a home on the music page (of his website) with all the other little digital penguins, waiting to waddle their way across the world, leaving no footprints in the snow.”
Van Kirk recently completed his work for a PhD, and he is an avid Calvin and Hobbs fan.
Fiddlers Crossing is at 206 East F Street at Robinson Street, in Downtown Tehachapi. Tickets may be purchased next door at Mountain Music, at The Apple Shed, or with a credit card by calling 661-823-9994. Tickets to the concert are $15, and as always, coffee and goodies are included. The concert begins at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30p.m.