Randy Knudsen: Making it look easy on stage

February 26, 2013

Randy and sonsAn interview by Cathy Dalton

Randy has been playing for over 40 years. You may know him as your electrician from Ludington Electric. His guitar skills are unbelievable to watch. He has passed on his musical talent to his sons.

Cathy Dalton: At what age did you start playing guitar?

Randy Knudsen: I started playing when I was about 9-years-old. My dad bought an acoustic guitar for me. It just sat around and one day I decided to pick it up and play it.

CD: What previous bands have you played in?

Randy 4RK: Some of the bands I played in were Arrow Road, J.R. Esteem, Preferred Stock, Lou Thunder and the Rainmakers, and now MoJo HaMMeR! I played my first paying gig in high school. We were paid $90 to play a private party, and there were only three of us. The year was 1973. It was with my friends Mark Weiler and Paul Pettis. We didn’t even practice, we just jammed for 3 hours. The audience seemed to love what we were doing. I think we played Mississippi Queen about four times, and we played it four different ways!

CD: What are your fondest musical memories in your career so far?

RK: Some of my musical highlights were opening for the rock band Chicago, in front of about 17,000 people. And playing at Buddy Guy’s with Lou Thunder and the Rainmakers! Buddy Guy was in the audience that night. When I played country music, I opened for such as Porter Waggoner, T.G. Shepard, Mel Tillis, The Forrester Sister, and Roddy Macdowell. I used to play at Johnny’s in Custer for over 20 years. I would say a little over 1,000 times! I used to play four days a week, every other week for about seven of those years. The names of the country bands were Preferred Stock, and J.R. Esteem!

CD: In your new band: MoJo HaMMeR -did you inspire your two sons to join you? And who is the Keyboard player?

RK: My new band is MoJo HaMMeR and it’s with my two sons, Ryan (drums) and Kevin (bass) . We also have Bill Green on the keys. Bill and I have been friends for years. He was original keyboard player for Lou Thunder. We play mostly Blues, but we don’t limit ourselves to just that type of music. Throw in a little bit of funk and even an occasional country song, and you have MoJo HaMMeR! I love playing music with my sons and Bill. I think this is the most fun I’ve had yet and I have been playing gigs for 40 years.

Again, I have so much respect for the Musicians that work a everyday job and have a love for music. It’s amazing who Randy has opened for. I’m a native from Chicago and what a pleasure it is to know you Randy. Welcome back to the music scene with people and family that you love. Can’t wait to see you on March 2, 2013 at Michael’s Bar Grille in Ludington and looking forward to seeing you throughout our community.

 

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