Classic Rocker Ken Marvin

Ken Marvin is a local musician who has been pumping out tunes for over 40 years. He is a huge classic rock fan but also writes much of the music that his musical duo, Marvin & Gentry, performs. They will be performing on June 22 at Live on the Riverfront. [UPDATE: This performance has been cancelled due to weather. Marvin & Gentry have been rescheduled for July 4] Put your hands together, clap and iMeet Ken Marvin.

Welcome to iMeet, Ken. Tell us about yourself...

I hail from just down the road in Mayfield - as does my lifelong music partner, Brian Gentry. Both of my parents were raised in Paducah. I’ve lived in Nashville on/off for many years, but Paducah is just my speed.

Tell us about your family...

I have three children, and only one wife. Quite the jokester, right? My lovely wife, Daniela, comes via Austria and Arkansas. She has a broad collection of life experiences.

Tell us about your group Marvin & Gentry...

Marvin & Gentry have been “doing” our music since we were about 16-17 years old. I’m 58 years old now - so you can do the math. Like almost every singer/songwriter, we began playing covers of our favorite artists: Beatles, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, America. I also loved Motown, and good old classic rock such as Led Zeppelin. But, when it’s just two guys with acoustic guitars, you stick with what you can actually make sound decent.

Back in our early days there was no internet. To learn the songs one had to buy the vinyl record and a book with guitar chords. The artists/bands literally published their songbooks! They were very cool - great pictures too. At some point, early on, we decided we could write our own music. Were most of the songs horrible? Probably so, but it was a start.

Fast forward to today, and I think we are pretty decent writers. If you’re old enough to remember songs like Horse With No Name and Ventura Highway by the trio AMERICA, our music caught the ear of Dan Peek - an original founder of that group. We did several records with Dan, who sadly passed away about five years ago. For numerous reasons, we weren’t able to take our music on the road to perform. It was a surreal experience - meeting and becoming friends with one of our music heroes. He was a fantastic friend and human being.

We hear that you’re playing a riverfront concert this week…

Yes, June 22. When we play at Paducah Riverfront we will have a great band in tow - guys from Nashville. My partner, Brian, lives just outside of Nashville and we’ve been working with the band for several months. We hope to start booking more dates with the band.

We’ll be playing some America/Dan Peek covers, as well as our own music. As we speak, we have sent a batch of our songs to a company that places music for TV/film. We didn’t call them, they found us. That’s a good sign.

Did or do you work anywhere else?

I’ve had so many different jobs I’ve lost count. I’ve never actually caught chickens for a living, but I have worked beside them. Long story. If one can’t make a living full-time in music, you have to do what it takes to keep the fire burning - so to speak.

Where can we catch you guys playing?

We’ll be at the Riverfront on June 22nd. Otherwise we do several fly dates with just our guitars - no band. We still get calls from our days on radio with contemporary gospel record label Milk & Honey Records.

What bands influenced you when you were growing up?

My front license plate reads THE BEATLES.  I’ve already mentioned some others. Anything “folk/rock” works for me.

Favorite album of all time and why?

That’s a tough question. I usually have to go with AMERICA Homecoming.

What do you like to do in your free time?

My wife and I are trying to build a house/studio on 10 acres near Paducah airport. That and Netflix keeps us occupied nicely.

Describe the perfect pizza...

Now you’re getting into my personal space. But, I already feel comfortable with you. So, it’s simple. Thin crust pepperoni/mushrooms.

Favorite season: Summer, Spring, Fall or Winter?

Definitely Fall. It signals a time of rest and reflection. What’s better than a cool crisp day with beautiful colors, and the perfect cup of Joe?