April 2022
Kicked Outta Cottonwood

Finding good bandmates is a challenge, especially if you are new to the music scene, and once you’ve done that, what are you going to call yourselves?

The story goes that one afternoon during rehearsal, after viewing a very disappointing video of a very famous musician, Robert Raymond and Brian Waterbury were astonished at how bad it was, and someone said, “that guy was so bad, he could get kicked out of Cottonwood!” The laughter brought on a little epiphany, and the band found its name: Kicked Out of Cottonwood, or KOC.

Raymond handles lead vocals and lead guitar. Waterbury also plays guitar, sings backup and teams with Raymond to compose and arrange the music. Dedicated to southern country-rock, the setlist is half well executed covers and half original songs.

Rounding out the roster are Tim King on vocals and guitar, on bass Jim Kelley, who’s known in the music industry for  his custom amplifiers, and pro drummer Tom Galella, whose past credits include various professional recording projects. Raymond and Waterbury agree that when they came together they had an instant creative chemistry, and write very well together. The band grew out of local jam nights.

Growing up in Huntington Beach, California, Robert was raised on the music of the seventies. While attending parties with his parents he first heard Creedence Clearwater Revival, Elton John and the Allman Brothers. When he was about eight he discovered a piano at a friend’s house, and “it instantly made sense” to him. He spent hours teaching himself, and quickly mastered “Benny and the Jets” on the piano.

His conservative father would not agree to let him play a guitar, but allowed him to play the trumpet in school, and he learned to read music. At fifteen he joined his first band, playing guitar anyway, and was promptly kicked out of the house for a time. Later his antics got him kicked out of college, and he spent the following several years in the Hollywood Hills playing and recording music professionally. Eventually he settled down, married, and had a son, so he put his day job as a stylist first and his music mostly on the back burner.

In 2019 while on a family visit to Prescott, he found himself on the balcony of Jersey Lily’s, overlooking the courthouse square. In that moment that he decided to leave behind the materialism, superficiality and fractious politics he experienced in California, and is grateful to live here now.

Brian picked up a guitar at fifteen. His mother scheduled lessons to encourage him and when the teacher failed to show up, he taught himself to play. After hours on his regular day job as a public-works inspector for Orange County, he played in local cover bands for many years. Once he retired he committed to his music completely. After careful consideration and planning, Brian and his wife Malia bought a home in Prescott in 2018. He also appreciates and enjoys the vibrant and talented music scene here.

KOC has recorded several original songs that play radio stations from Arizona to Texas. They also appear on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music and Deezer. Search ‘KOCband’ to find them.

“Our music is about a true and genuine love of life and country. It is about gratitude for our freedoms, authenticity, and the freedom to be who you are.” The band hosts open-mic nights every other Thursday evening at Tony Too’s in Prescott Valley. You can also find them playing at the Windsock Lounge in Prescott in April and May.

Laine Murphy covers the arts in Prescott.

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