Kim Jennings & Michael Gray
Born in suburban Massachusetts, Kim has been singing since the ripe old age of 5. The oldest of eight children in an Irish Catholic family in the Boston suburbs, Kim grew up listening to the music of Clancy Brothers, Jim Croce, and James Taylor. "I didn't know it back then, but traditional Irish music and the 1970s singer-songwriters got deep into my heart, and now influence me in ways I never realized," says Kim of her musical influences.
In 2014 , one of Kim's newest songs, "When We Are Broken," was nominated as a finalist in the Eventide Arts 2014 Songfest songwriting competition (Cape Cod, MA), and Kim earned an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Solarfest Songwriting Showcase Competition (VT).
2015 brought a self-imposed songwriting challenge: write a new song every week for the first 3 months of the year. She made it work for 8 weeks. She says: "It was a good run, even if I didn't write all 12 new songs! Writing consistently, trying not to worry over whether or not the new songs are any good, is better than not writing at all. 8 songs is a good start, there's certainly more writing to do, and all the new tunes need work. But, getting myself to write consistently is planting the seeds for what my next recording project can be, and getting those wheels turning again."
Splitting the bill with Kim is singer-songwriter-guitarist and American Beauties founder Michael Gray. Originally from Syracuse, NY, Michael began writing at the age of 15 and played his first live show at Hartwick College in Upstate NY at age 13. After playing with local bands in the Syracuse area during high school, he later performed solo in college at clubs in Flagstaff Arizona and later in Austin Texas before moving to Boston. Michael continued playing solo shows around Boston in the early 1990s before taking a ten-year musical hiatus to raise a family.
In 2003, Michael joined the Americana band "Dig In The Dirt" with Juliet Simmons, Jonas, Justin, and Jeff who played clubs in Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville between 2004 and 2008. After DITD disbanded, Michael joined the progressive rock band "Sarcasmatics" with local guitarist and songwriter Chris Faris. These projects would introduced Michael to the many musicians and artists that would ultimately influence the music of American Beauties; his first solo band project showcasing his original song compositions.
St. John's Coffeehouse Concerts (View)
74 Pleasant Street
Arlington, MA 02476
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