The only thing Guthrie Kennard ever started early was his music career. By the age of 14, he was playing with friend and fellow musician Joe Russell in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia. He left home to travel to Atlanta, Georgia, where Joe was signed with the Bill Lowery Agency, whose roster included artists such as Billy Joe Royal, Classics IV, and Joe South. In Atlanta, Guthrie met people who were successful doing what they loved to do; his path was chosen.
Guthrie’s Daddy eventually called the authorities to get him home and back in school, but Guthrie just wanted to play music. Back in Richmond, Guthrie formed the band Studio B with Mike Deep, Mike Parker, Linwood Bell, and Jimmy Langlious, and had his first opportunity to get serious and grow musically. Southside Johnny (of Asbury Jukes) later moved down from Jersey and became the band’s lead singer.
Guthrie originally came west in 1968 to stay with his Texas cousins and to be with a friend who was stationed in El Paso, waiting to be shipped out to Vietnam. He bounced between Texas and Virginia for a couple of years, but decided he was a Texas boy at heart and moved here to stay in ’71. During this time he started playing with Smokin’ Joe Kubek. His first “official” Texas band was Big D Stuff with singer Larry Samford, who is now with the Rocky Athas Group.
The next few years were filled with great music and great musicians. He recorded with Smokin’ Joe Kubek & Doyle Bramhall, Sr. on Bird Records, and opened for numerous national touring acts, including Robin Trower, John Mayall, Taj Mahal, Leon Russell, and Donovan. He toured Europe with Grammy winner Marc Benno, and co-wrote “Laverne” on Benno’s album Snake Charmer. While in Europe, they performed on Ohne Filter, Germany’s top televised music show.
By the early 80s, Guthrie was playing with Rocky Hill, along with Brett Reid & ‘Uncle John’ Turner. Rocky and the band opened for such Texas music legends as ZZ Top, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Johnny Winter, and Ray Wylie Hubbard.
Guthrie and Brett joined up with drummer Jimmy ‘Blueshoes’ Pendleton to form The Hippie Dogs, a band with “the soul of a hippie and the howl of a dog.” The Dogs recorded a self-titled CD in 1994, and opened for Lee Rocker and Delbert McClinton. Buddy Magazine named all three-band members “Texas Tornados,” calling them “the best musicians in Texas, perhaps in the world.”
Guthrie has also played with Buddy Miles, Jack Morgan, Curly ‘Barefoot’ Miller, Jim Suhler, and Robert Ealey. He has toured extensively through Europe with Smokin’ Joe Kubek, Eddie Martin, and Marc Benno, playing some great venues like the Womad Festival, the Colne Festival, Nuits de Blues, and the International Music Festival in Turkey.
After a career of collaboration with some great musicians, Guthrie is finally breaking out on his own as a singer / songwriter to tell his own story in the new CD ‘Ranch Road 12′ produced by Ray Wylie Hubbard. Have a listen.
Guthrie has also played on Take Your Best Shot – Smokin’ Joe Kubek, Bullseye
Something’s Gotta Change – Kenny Traylor, Topcat Records
Pillowcase Blues – Eddie Martin & the Texas Blues Kings, Blueblood
Jump the Joint – Eugene ‘Hideaway’ Bridges, Armadillo
Without Further Adieu – Paul Byrd, Bluestone
I’m Not Saying I’m Just Saying – Dynamo Rhythm Aces
The Hippie Dogs – The Hippie Dogs
Miracle – The Rocky Athas Group, Armadillo Live at the Crossroads – Jack Morgan
Voodoo Moon – The Rocky Athas Group, Armadillo
Coming Home – Eugene ‘Hideaway’ Bridges, Armadillo
“Guthrie Kennard is one bad ass song writer and this is no mediocre compliment. This man can write a song that is as true as an angel on the witness stand.”
- Roots Music Report
“With a voice that recalls Bob Dylan and Keith Richards, Kennard spins his tales of rural disaffection against a backdrop of rough-hewed melodies and backwoods percussion,
classic Texas music, a soundtrack to the Hill Country, and the slow country songs sound like a drive on patchy, paved roads that lead to all sorts of interesting places.”
- Darryl Smyers, Dallas Observer
His latest record "Cross Your Heart" is No.16 on the EuroAmericanaCharts / August 2013