by Ivan Genasi
Over a four-decade career as a professional drummer, Kenny Soule has worked with scores of artists across multiple genres, recorded six albums for major labels, toured across the U.S., Europe, Scandinavia and Japan, and played for crowds up to 60,000. Through it all, he’s built a reputation for his total musicianship – with an ear for harmonies, a knack for arrangements and an ability to serve the vision of the artist.
Kenny achieved national success with classic rockers Nantucket (Epic / Sony), rocked the Southeast with power trio PKM, and won an international audience with R&B / funk purveyors DAG (Columbia / Sony). His career has more recently encompassed Americana / country, soul, blues / rock, jazz / fusion and even Bollywood / punk. Beyond his seat at the drums, Kenny contributes background vocals in his tenor range. In addition to active gigging, he also tracks and mixes with a range of artists from his basement studio in Queens, New York City, where he resides.
Kenny was born into a musical family in New Britain, Connecticut. He first studied violin, then piano, but switched to drums when he saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. Suddenly, at age twelve, he knew what he wanted to do with his life. His father Robert, a music professor at Central Connecticut State U, arranged for him to study percussion under Tele Lesbines, then tympanist for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. Throughout grade school, from jazz band to concert band, orchestra to local rock and soul bands, Kenny's talent and skills grew. By the time he was accepted at East Carolina University to study under Harold A. Jones, the influences of the 60's British Invasion, Motown, James Brown, and Psychedelia had all left their mark.
While pursuing a major in Percussion Performance at ECU, he joined rock band Nantucket in 1972. They toured the southeastern U.S. relentlessly and signed to Epic records in 1977. Nantucket released three LPs between 1978 and 1980, featuring several tracks co-written by Kenny. Touring coast to coast for those years with AC/DC, Kiss, Cheap Trick, Foreigner, Boston, REO Speedwagon, and others added to his experience and fueled his determination. An endorsement with Gretsch in 1979 featured Kenny in ads appearing in Creem, Rolling Stone, Downbeat, and Circus.
In 1981, he left Nantucket to form PKM, a power trio whose influences included Grand Funk Railroad, AC/DC, The Police, and Mother’s Finest. PKM's self-produced LP (originally titled Rock Erotica, then PKM) was distributed by Polygram.
What began as a low-key studio collaboration became the band DAG when Kenny and the other session musicians were offered a deal with Columbia Records in 1993. He jumped at the chance to flex his funk-R&B roots, and DAG released two albums internationally, Righteous (1994), and Apartment #635 (1998). The French appreciated DAG's brand of funk so much that Kenny was featured in two separate issues of Batteur, the noted French drum magazine.
During 2001-2002 Kenny toured with blues / rock purveyor Walter Trout, handling drums and background vocals for both U.S. and European tours, including the 2001 LA Music Awards. There, Walter was honored with Best Guitarist and Best Rock Album.
Since relocating to NYC in 2001, Kenny has widened his experience and visibility with forays into Americana / country, rockabilly, jazz / rock / fusion, and even Bollywood / punk. His basement recording space, HOUSE OF SOULE, has produced drum tracks, band tracks, reinterpretations, covers and mixes for an array of music makers and producers. And he's had the honor of working with a wide range of artists, producers and engineers. Click on "ARTISTS" to learn more.