Meet the Parents: Kevin Morby’s Dad On Not Being Very Musical

Meet the Parents: Kevin Morby’s Dad On Not Being Very Musical

Some artists come from musical stock…some decidedly don’t. The latter is the case with Kevin Morby, who was blessed with very enthusiastic (if not musically inept) parents.

Morby is out with his next solo album, City Music, on Friday (June 16), so we decided to chat with his dad Jim about what it was like to raise a musician. Check out our conversation below, along with a playlist of tracks Morby learned from his parents.

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What is your musical background, if you have one?

Jim: When I was in the eighth grade we moved to a small town with a school that had an award-winning choral group. Membership in the group was compulsory for all middle schoolers, thus I became a proud part of the group. Quickly it was determined that I was the worst singer in the entire school. I mastered a technique some refer to as ‘moving your lips but not really singing.’ Using this method, I was able to make it through the year and then my singing career came to a graceful end.

What kind of music has your son exposed you to?

Jim: When Kevin was in middle school, I realized he had a real interest in music and once asked him what kind of music he liked. He said he liked what he called indie music. I asked him what bands he liked and he listed several of which I had never heard, since they were not Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles or Elvis.

What is like having a musician as a son?

Jim: It is very exciting and gives his mother and me something to follow incessantly on the Internet. We are both extremely proud to follow his journey and are constantly amazed by what can be accomplished with hard work and God-given talent.

Any perks?

Jim: We are able to get into his and his friends shows for free. I get to listen to my wife tell everyone her son is famous.

What advice would you give parents of aspiring musicians?

Jim: Enjoy the ride. Life is short. Also, if you are terrible at music like me, avoid giving your son or daughter advice and try to make funny comments.

What did you father teach you about music?

Kevin: I didn’t grow up in a very musical household. The memories I have of my parents listening to music are few and far between. I remember playing football on the front lawn with my friends one afternoon and my mom coming home from work blasting Michael Bolton so loud we heard it coming from a few blocks away, and I remember my dad always listening to a Meatloaf tape on the boat that we’d take out on the lake in the summers…but that’s about it. There was no record collection or instruments around growing up and music wasn’t really a part of any conversation my parents were having.

Now, however, my parents are the biggest music fans I know. They have multiple record players and a big and getting bigger record collection. All the record store owners know them by name in the Kansas City and Lawrence area and their house has become a sort of hotel for my friends’ bands that pass through. At this point, they both know far more about me and all my peers’ careers than we do. It’s pretty amazing and they are the best.

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