A Q&A with Kyle Hollingsworth, the keyboardist with The String Cheese Incident and solo artist behind Kyle Hollingsworth Band.
You recently wrapped up a run of high-profile shows in Chicago and New York with SCI. With the focus now shifting to your solo band’s tour in smaller clubs, it seems you get the best of both worlds. How would you describe the joy that each of these scenarios brings?
Yes, it is the dichotomy of my life. The SCI shows with the band are filled with great rewards, but sometimes great pressures. From setlist creations and special events, it can be a lot to shoulder. Sometimes the smaller solo gigs are a good release and a sense of stretching out from the “mothership,” a way to showcase where I am as an individual.
Your upcoming solo album “50” is your fourth overall, and first since 2014. How much correlation has the recent “less is more” approach that String Cheese has taken in regards to touring contributed to you being able to allocate more time for Kyle Hollingsworth Band?
It is true, this is my first album since 2014, but it will be my fourth album in my solo career. And yes the SCI schedule has enabled me to stretch out in many worlds. From producing to creating new music, it has been a whirlwind. But SCI is always at the forefront of my mind and spirit.
You recently sat in with some Boulder- area musicians at Post Brewing in Boulder. I know that was quite a treat for the guys on stage, and the folks that were in attendance. You have obviously been on the other end of some amazing special guests with your time in String Cheese. In your early career, what sit-in left you with the biggest “Did that just happen?” feeling?
That was a lot of fun that evening at The Post. Some of the early sit-ins that blew my mind include Béla Fleck, such an incredible musician fantastic understanding of music; Bill Payne and Bruce Hornsby, it was a keyboard player’s dream, very different players and different personalities, but a good learning experience. We did a short rehearsal with Paul Simon that never lead to a performance, but that was still awesome!
For those that know or follow you on social media, your love of brewing and craft beer is undeniable. Do you have any collaboration news for the beer geeks in Boulder to be aware of?
The one I’m most excited about it right now is a collaboration between Relix, Sweetwater Brewing Company and me. It’s going to be in nationally distributed beer (available everywhere SweetWater is distributed). It’s called Ground Score India Pale Ale, and it is in a style that has become one of my favorites: the new Northeastern hoppy hazed IPA. It’s going to be yum!
There is a big birthday on the horizon for you, and since it happens to be the title of your upcoming album, “50″, it seems that while some people shy away from the age thing, you are reveling in it. What is your mindset behind embracing this?
Well, I prefer to say that I’m turning 25 again. But yes, it’s so crazy! I’ve been living in Colorado for half my life at this point, so many changes. I didn’t mean to make a big deal out of it, but then I named my new album 50. So…I’m throwing a big party and inviting family, friends and fans to come celebrate with me. It’s pretty much the event not to be missed in 2018!! I’m definitely going.