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Delving deeper into the not-so-secret life of Columbia musicians

Pat Kay (of The Kay Brothers, The HipNecks and, uh, five other bands) met me at Coffee Zone on a Tuesday afternoon. Mary and the Giant’s Justin Mayfield and John Marino sat across from me in a booth at Kaldi’s on a Thursday evening. Jenny Teator & The Fevers let me invade the group’s regular Wednesday night practice in member Ted Paletta’s home.

They might not quite be household names, but they’re all freakin’ awesome musicians and even cooler people — and you can find ’em all right here in CoMo.

I think it can be easy for people to get so accustomed to our environment that we sometimes forget the depth and culture that every town and every community holds, including our own.

“I’ve been downtown on a Thursday night,” I can tell myself. “I’ve traipsed through the North Village Arts District on more than one occasion. I’ve seen it all.”

Writing this issue’s “Six degrees of (musical) separation” story, however, proved me wrong.

Working off the vague impression I had that Columbia’s local bands were all, somehow, very interconnected, I met with six local groups to discuss who knew whom and who’s done what. I found myself impressed with the passion of each band member I met with and wondering why I had never before made the effort to see these groups perform live. (And also plotting how I could get all these bands in the same room at the same time. They all know each other, and it’d be like one big high school reunion. Except more fun.)

Sure, I didn’t grab a seat across the table from Ezra Koenig at Lakota. (Although Mayfield had an equally entertaining sense of humor. Read: He continually caught me off guard during our 15-minute interview.) But meeting with these talented guys and gals has me thinking that Columbia’s scene is worth a heck of a lot more of my time and attention — and probably yours as well.

So head over to Mojo’s for that local artist’s Wednesday night show. Arrive at that big show at The Blue Note early enough to catch the local opening act. Check out the Columbia Missouri Music Scene Facebook page. You never know when you’ll stumble across Mumford & Sons 2.0.

With a venti-sized cup of love, Heather

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