Artist Management - Blues Rock and Roots

Kaleb McKane

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See & Hear

Song 1 : YouTube

Song 2 : Media clip

The amazing music of the supernova-electric superstar KALEB MCKANE floats free.

The polymath's rock compositions move in vibrant spirals, though they're always neatly controlled and nuanced by a sense of inner strength and ritual.  Kaleb plays without safety nets, without paracord, and without lifelines. His only connection to this earth is through a guitar-cable connected to his amplifier.

Kaleb gives meaning to this transcendent astrophobia by creating condensed and supercharged rock concertos. His work is easily compared to Bowie, Hendrix and Prince  — with strong melodic lines and bluesy virtuosity, the numbers are recognisable and highly marketable — and also apparitional.

With dual British/Australian nationality, Kaleb was born in Brisbane, Australia, but moved to England at the age of 2 where he was raised by his mother, a professional performance pianist. He won a music scholarship to the independent day school at Ewell Castle, in Surrey — the same school where Mercury Prize-winning songwriter/producer Sampha studied.

Kaleb admits he was not fit for a life of study and recognises he did not apply himself academically. Music became a distraction, soon it became the main focus: “I think I found myself isolated from others, separated from the scholastic world. Although I found the isolation quite healthy. It set me up, emotionally, for what I would become. Losing myself in music became a therapy.”

He tried to please his mother by studying piano, but found true salvation in the guitar. “She gave me my first instrument, a Squier Stratocaster in red, on my twelfth birthday. I soon got to grips with it. I played my first public show just after that: “The Great Gig in the Sky” taken from Dark Side of the Moon. Accompanied by my Mum on keyboards.”

“I remember thinking my friends and teachers were quite surprised, perhaps shocked. After the recital I became known as “the guitar guy...”
“I found myself playing in jam sessions at the age of fourteen, writing my own music at fifteen and studying music at seventeen. It was already clear to me, I would never be an ideal band member. I couldn't be another Jimmy Page but wanted to be the central figure. Even at twelve I wanted to be Robert Plant.”

The choice of his mother's music was a big influence on Kaleb: “She loves Led Zeppelin, of course, and also Pink Floyd, Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie and Free. She played me her favourite songs as we zoomed around London in her cabriolet.”

“In my heart, I knew I’d  never be an ensemble musician like she was. I didn't have the discipline to apply myself. I dropped out of school at sixteen, and after a year at the ICMP (The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance)  went to do a foundation degree in popular music at one of the main conservatories in the world — the Royal Northern College of Music.”

“At the RNCM I was confronted with classical works and a lot of really committed and stimulating musicians though I still felt out of place — as if I was the musical antichrist in a sacred institution. ”

When he was sixteen Kaleb went to see Jeff Beck play a show. “I don't mind admitting I cried...” he says. “I was emotionally struck by Jeff's fluency, supreme ability and elegant grace. He seemed so easy-handed yet in complete control and I remember thinking he was self-determined and self-sufficient, but also free. I wanted to be just like him.”

Later, when studying at the Royal Northern College of Music, he saw a recital by the free-form guitarist, composer and improviser: Daniel Brew. “His performance really affected me, his piece was in constant development and it had such beautiful emotion ... yet he played this on a rock guitar —  an instrument which usually defines anger, passion and dissidence. It was as if he had trapped all the angry-craziness inside a velvet syllabub of sounds. I understood, then and there, that I wanted my own music to be heard the same way — to be coherent yet seamless.”

After graduating from the Royal Northern College of Music, Kaleb teamed-up with blues-rock heroes “Never the Bride” and took one year out — aged 21 — touring with Nikki and her friends across the UK.
This summer he will release his solo EP titled “Universe in Reverse” and is already working on a 10-track solo album, due 2019.