In Glendora CA, Mike Kinney, who owns Mike’s Guitar World, has found a great way to draw upon the talents of local musicians. As reported by the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, he mixes and matches players to create hybrid bands. The impromptu groups play everything from blues and classic rock to country rock and alternative. The groups, which have names like Blacklisted, Corporation T-Shirt, Sketch Artists and The Zodiacs, are all made up of students who take lessons at Mike’s Guitar World. As for Blacklisted, all the hard work the band put in has paid off. Last year, the country rock group won a Battle of the Bands at the Oak Tree Festival in Glendora. They claimed their prize in November when they performed at the House of Blues in Anaheim, one of Southern California’s premier concert venues.
Kinney explained to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune how the nurturing process works with his students. He said, “They come in here once a week for a band session and I’m with them. I’ll say, ‘Hey, let’s work on these three or four songs.’ So, we work on the parts and go through the songs. Sometimes, I’ll play guitar because, maybe, the guitar player can’t be there or someone else might blow it off.” After the bands hone their sound, they start playing at local restaurants, parks and carnivals. This year’s Battle of the Bands was held at the Oak Tree Festival at St. Dorothy Catholic Church in Glendora.
Chris Marquis, the festival’s Entertainment Director, said the three-day event draws big crowds and also features non-competing headline acts.