Americana at its finest with deep soulful roots, and a voice with such conviction and depth, RVA singer/songwriter Sid Kingsley is the next musician you need to check out.
The artist first made RVA Mag’s ears perk up when he released his single, “Good Way Home” a few months ago, which is the title of his debut album set to drop via American Paradox Records May 12.
The song’s lyrics are a little heavy and tug at the heart strings, but Kingsley’s voice and piano playing makes it this powerful, feel-good beautiful song.
While we’re just becoming hip to this guy, Kingsley is no newbie to the RVA music scene. He moved here about three years ago and has regularly co-hosted the open mic nights at Cary St. Cafe alongside local folk group Dalton Dash.
Kingsley said that “Good Way Home” was the first song he ever wrote, which was about three years ago.
He recorded the album back in July in Scott Lane’s (The Congress) home studio in Jackson Ward, whom he met on a trip out west.
“I met him about five years ago when I was hitchhiking through the west and ended up in Denver and we had a mutual friend, and then when The Congress moved back to Richmond from Denver last year, he came to an open mic that I host and heard me sing a song and was really interested and wanted to hear what songs I had written,” Kingsley said.
The album features 10 tracks, half of which Kingsley wrote himself. So far RVA Mag has only heard two tracks, but if the rest of the album is anything like the two singles, it will be one full of heart , soul and substance.
“They can expect bluesy, soul Americana,” Kingsley said of the album. “I only do songs that I can make believable with audiences, just honesty really.
The other half of the album, Kinsley chose to include covers of folk songs.
“Old Scottish tunes, that are at least 100 years old,” he said.
A song called “These Are The Reasons” written by Russell Lacy of Virginia Moonwalker studio even makes it onto Good Way Home. It’s a song that gives you all the feels, something you could listen to on a rainy day with Kingsley’s voice providing the warmth you need.
Kingsley’s debut solo record is set to make for a diverse, well-rounded composition with fellow RVA music veterans Marcus Tenney (Foxygen, No BS Brass), Andrew Carper (Angelica Garcia), Kenneka Cook (Mikrowaves), and Lane featured on the album.
A native of Branchville, Virginia, Kingsley grew up on jazz and has played the saxophone for over 20 years.
“I started in like 5th grade, just listening to jazz albums and trying to emulate what they were doing,” he said. “Learning from some instructors, but there weren’t a lot where I lived so most of the stuff I learned on my own.”
He’s played the piano for the last five years, which he picked up while studying music at Radford University. It wasn’t until after he made his trip coast-to-coast trip during one summer while at college that he decided to try singing.
“I never considered myself a singer,” he said “When I started playing piano and writing the other songs I figured out I could sing.”
He left school to move with his girlfriend to New York, which is where he first played his music live and in 2014, Kingsley and his girlfriend moved to Richmond where the singer was immediately drawn to the city’s burgeoning music scene.
“The music scene was amazing and it was super inspiring,” he said.
After his releases his album next month, Kingsley will head out to Denver to play several shows before embarking on a mini tour at the end of May that will run through the end of summer.
Sid Kingsley will drop his debut album Good Way Home Friday, May 12 with a release party at Flora May 13. Sammi Lanzetta (formerly of Venus Guytrap) will also perform. Doors at 10 pm. Music at 11 pm. Free. 203 N. Lombardy St.
Photo credit: Joey Wharton