KICKIN' KOUNTRY MEMBERS PERSONAL BIOS
I was born in Jonesboro,Arkansas, the first son with an older sister and a half brother. I would eventually end up with another sister and brother...so i grew up with mom and dad and 5 siblings.
I mostly grew up around Memphis,Tennesee and still call Memphis my home, although i live in Arkansas now up near Branson,Mo. I began my musical journey as a young boy,who at age 7 or 8 realized i could sing and was encouraged to do so by an aunt who loved to hear me sing.She would "arrange" talent shows between us children [siblings and cousins] just so i would sing because i was so shy. Peopla nowadays cannot fathom ME being SHY?!?!? Soon, as a teen, i took advantage of the fact i was a wiz with the english language and especially poetry,to re-write popular songs. Eventually they would call this parody..but i had no idea at the time. I eventually got serious and started writing songs. I have always had the music in my head and it took many many years to figure out how to retrieve it and use it. After fronting many rock bands and doing covers,my need to be a songwriter was overwhelming. SO..i picked up my guitarist Yamaha box guitar and taught myself how to play.After throwing away my MEL BAY learn to play guitar book because i did not wanna learn "On Top of Old Smokey"..i took the basic chords i learned and started applying them to my songs. In 3 months i had composed music to most all of my lyrics and started writing new songs for the band.Over the years, i have played in many different bands. Rock,Country, and Gospel acappella. I lived in and around Nashville,Tn. for nearly 20 years and never sold a song,never made a hit record,and rarely met any stars! I think i was cursed. I did meet Johnny Cash one time but could hardly speak...so missed my chance to push any songs.In 2000 i met an artist online looking for one last song for his CD and he wanted a paticular type of love song. I knew immediately i had what h, needed and sent it to him. It got recorded and i was finally a member of BMI as a songwriter. NO..you never heard it..and i'm glad..coz he masaquered it. Turns out he wasn't the best singer in the world either. I am thankful anyway..i got my shot and got my membership..so..i'm cool.
I married again in 1996 to a lady whos family was very musical and before long we formed a family band.
Father-in-law on guitar,wife singing,me on guitar,brother-in-law on drums...we rounded out the band with a bass player/guitarist Lindy Smith and became the STEEL CREEK BAND.We were really good together and had five different singers in the band which made for great harmonies and plenty of variation in song picks.We opened for some great acts ,too, like Darryl Singletary,Jeff Carson,Narvel Felts, and a few others. We played for about 5 years and after members dropped out one by one leaving me as the only original member,my newest guitarist buddy Duane Hoppis and i decided to drop the name and return to the name of his former band
KICKIN' KOUNTRY. Duane and i have been together for about 5 years now and i guess we will stay that way until he kicks me out for being to old to function!
DUANE HOPPIS :
I learned guitar when i was 12 and played that until high school when i learned to play drums as well.
I also picked up the bass guitar soon after that. I played drums in a variety of local bands for a while until
the fall of 1990 when KICKIN' KOUNTRY was born! I have been the one constant member since then and played with some mighty fine musicians through the years. We have got to open for some big name artist
and the experience was wonderful. I love what i do and as long as i can...i will be KICKIN' IT!!!!!
In th epast few years i have taking to writing songs,too, and on the last CD...had at least 2 song i wrote solely on my own. I hope to continue to do that as i make my own kind of music. My son,Austin,who is 16 now..has taking to playing the drums also.....and i am very proud of him.
RONDA HARP : DRUMS ; VOCALS
I live in Valley Springs, Arkansas, but like to call Bruno, Ar. my hometown. I have been playing for 16 years and have been writing songs since i was 9! I also play a little guitar. I first started playing in church and the first band i played with was the SAM PATTON band. Through the years I have been with various bands; SOUTHERN PRIDE, SWEET SENSATIONS, and RIBBONS and STEEL before finally landing with KICKIN' KOUNTRY. The very first song i remember singing was WEBB PIERCE's "SLOWLY". My Momma used to sing this song all the time! I have had many influences, not all female. Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, of course...but i also loved Merle Haggard, Vern Gosdin and George Strait. Currently i am a big fan of MIRANDA LAMBERT!! I am a single mom of a beautiful daughter and rambunctious son; who also plays drums and guitar! We just finished writing a song together and hope to have it ready for the cd! I really look forward to KKB's next CD effort when i will be able to show my writing as well as my vocal talents.
J. R. MASSENGALE : BASS GUITAR
J.R. started playing guitar when he was 10 years old. His firast song he learned to play was "WINDY" by the Association. You can figure his true age from that if you really wanna know how old he is!! lol
He also learned to play bass guitar along the way. He has played in numerous bands thru his career,playing rock,blues and country. He became an accomplished bass player along the way and is
considered one of the best in his area of the Ozarks. He is known as a quite musician who prefers to blend into the scenery of the stage. BUT...don't be fooled..his bass playing puts him front and center with his current position in KICKIN' KOUNTRY.
KICKIN' KOUNTRY BAND's Blog
Posted on September 15, 2010 at 11:13am
We have almost collected the songs we want to recoed for our new CD. I originally wanted to add some covers but believe we are going with a cd full of our originals. Pushing for release by end of year...keep yawls fangers crossed!
Posted on December 24, 2009 at 10:42am
HOPE EVERYONE HERE AT MOIKO HAVE A HAPPY HOLIDAY AND A VERY BLESSED CHRISTMAS!
THANK YOU TO ALL OUR FRIENDS,FANS, AND FAMILY AT MOIKO.
KICKIN' KOUNTRY BAND
J. R. MASSENGALE
Posted on June 26, 2009 at 10:31am
Yawl give a listen...."UNDONE"
is a new original and its just a work in progress. SO...tell me what u think about it!!!!!
Posted on April 10, 2009 at 11:41am
....sorry i haven't been around too much lately...i have been busy wif me band...which iz a good thang...right?!?!?!?
....send ing love out to all me budz here...peace out!