Kenny Croes' early influences were folk artists like Peter, Paul & Mary, Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Jackson Browne. In the 1970's, he paid the rent as a staff songwriter for Criterion Music in Hollywood. As an opening act, he shared the bill with Jackson Browne, Tim Weisberg, We Five and well-known comedians at the famous Pasadena Ice House. While living in San Francisco, Kenny partnered with actor/magician Harry Anderson in a popular street and nightclub act.
In 1979, Kenny left peforming to become a field producer for National Public Radio. During that stint, he produced live jazz recordings of Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen McRae, Paul Horn, Kenny Burrell, Hubert Laws, Shelly Manne, Jennifer Warne, Sarah Vaughn, Kenny Rankin, Richie Cole, Mose Allison, and Bud Shank.
His earliest memories of music were the 78's his Dad would bring home from the radio station. Ken Sr. was a radio announcer and would play artists from the Hit Parade of the early 1950's like Patti Page, the Hi-Los, Les Paul & Mary Ford, and Perry Como. When Kenny's father moved to television, the Bakersfield Sound was just beginning. Future Country stars like Buck Owens and Merle Haggard performed regularly on Cousin Herb Henson's Tradin' Post, a half-hour show airing daily on local TV. It was a show Kenny rarely missed and even saw live when his Dad would bring him to the TV station.
Show business bit Kenny early. At age 6, he taught himself ventriloquism and performed regularly. At age 11, he began guitar lessons from a 75-year-old Hungarian violin teacher. John Kara. A cousin taught Kenny to play and sing Pete Seeger's Where Have All the Flowers Gone and from there he never looked back.
Since returning to performing, Kenny has expanded his songlist to include Bluegrass and country tunes and his songwriting reflects that. These days he tours throughout Oregon and California with his trio CAUGHT RED HANDED and also performs as a solo artist.
He lives in Bandon, Oregon.
He can be heard on five CD releases:
- Kenny Croes/So Far
- Caught Red Handed/Repeat Offenders
- Caught Red Handed/Bustin' Out
- Kenny, Bob & Rob/Two Time
- Kenny, Bob & Rob/Rivers, Stars and Trains
Kenny plays Martin guitars, Eastman guitars and Goldtone banjos. He prefers Herco thumbpicks, Alaska fingerpicks. and D'Addario EXP Phosphor Bronze Light Gauge strings.