The songs I write and play are a mix of swing jazz type numbers, rock and roll, country, funk, old style rhythm and blues, soul, blues, folk and so on. Roots music. I like to call it Kayajingo. This is a term coined by the great Neil Thomas which I have taken to heart.

On tour, we are constantly asked, ‘What kind of music do you play?’ Musicians everywhere will be familiar with the frustration involved, answering this question. One man’s rhythm and blues is another mans disco soul. One girls country is another girls 70s pap. and so on…and you are not supposed to play them all. When Neil came up with the term Kayajingo it was a Godsend. It made me laugh, its fun to say, and whenever I do, eyebrows shoot up, and a slew of further questions are provoked.

To be honest my songs are not startlingly original. They often tend to be songs that my heroes neglected to write so I stepped into their shoes for a moment and wrote them for them. One advantage of writing songs in the Kayajingo genre, is that audiences who have never heard them before, feel like they have. There is something familiar about them.

Another plus is that I can often perform them with a minimum of rehearsal. This has been a big factor for me in writing this way. I have to say here that my musical friends are spectacularly good. I can pull a song out of my hat that they have never heard, explain a few rudimentary points, and start playing it, confident that they will listen with great care to what I’m doing, and in no time get behind me and make it work. They make it look easy, but its not.

I have 3 gigs this week. On Wednesday I’ll be performing with Pete on sax at my most regular venue, the Flying Pig. On Friday we’ll be joined by Fabian on electric bass at a late night bar in town, The Vaults. And on Sunday, we are all three performing at a country pub, The Admiral Vernon, Over,  in the afternoon as part of a beer festival and barbecue.

We have played hundreds of gigs together, mostly without a drummer. Still we often manage to incite our audiences to dance in an abandoned fashion. I love what we do. Sometimes I wish we could rehearse more, get some more singers, meet an African drummer, tour the world, and such. But then it wouldnt be as fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants as it is, or such spontaneous fun.

Then it wouldnt be Kayajingo!

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9 Responses to “Kayajingo”

  • LB says:

    I happen to be a huge fan of Kayajingo … and you, sir, are among the spectactularly talented of whom you speak.

  • george says:

    thanks LB!
    humbly grateful for your kind words

  • Because I am both a fan and a Kayajingoist myself, I am in favor of creating several things to help our cause. How about a Kayajingo Music Association? Then we could sit around and re-define the genre, complete with arguments about what the “real Kaya” is. And why not a chart? Then the best Kayajingoists could sneer down at their lowly competitors who dont occupy the loftier spots. And what about the annual “Jingo Awards”? Then those of us who are in the know can reward ourselves and those who have kissed our asses with a yearly “gold star” that we can brag about in our promo packages.

    Isn’t it great to be part of the music business?

  • george says:

    man!…you need a day job!

  • Lisa Lowell says:

    “There’s no genre like no genre, there’s no genre I know…..”
    To me music falls into two categories. good or bad.
    Since there are no great A and R men left in the business, like the effete ones of yesterday when labels actually considered them important, we are now the deciders because we have access to all of it.
    So it touches you or doesn’t touch you.
    You choose it, or make it go away
    After all “Art” is all basically whatever you can get away with, so if it doesn’t touch you where you wanna be touched, you move on, right.
    Who cares what it’s called???

  • george says:

    Thanks Lisa, for taking the time to comment ..
    you are right, of course!
    but thats the whole point isnt it?….
    what does Kayajingo mean?…its just a funny word that suggest many things but actually means nothing!..
    We hate to be put into boxes,but many music lovers are determined to do it anyway. So I’d prefer to be known as a Kayajingo artist, than an alt country americana techno funk rapper….
    But you are right, people either like what you do, or they dont.
    Mostly we are just happy if they listen…

  • neil says:

    kayajingo! I like it….though etymology defines this term as “an enthusiast of the use of cannabis as a sacrament”…. that doesn’t sound like anyone I know!

  • george says:

    thanks for the definition my Kayajingo brother!
    does this mean we are compiling a hymnal for the church of Kayajingo ?

  • gin says:

    I’ve been throwing it around my mouth to see how it fits and although I LOVE it for your fine music dear george, it’s not quite right for me. There’s def an African flavour to it. But I am going to hatch one that sits right for this old rock chick. You’ve started something. bless ya!

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