Ink's Middle of the Map Fest, Katy Guillen & The Girls

Ink's Middle of the Map Fest

Katy Guillen & The Girls

Not A Planet, Chris Meck & The Guilty Birds, Erica Joy

Thu, May 4, 2017

Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 6:00 pm


This event is 18 and over

Ink's Middle of the Map Fest
Ink's Middle of the Map Fest
INK's Middle of the Map Fest 2017
:: A festival born & raised in Kansas City ::

This year marks the SEVENTH anniversary of Middle of the Map Fest.

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Katy Guillen & The Girls
Katy Guillen & The Girls
On the dawn of their sophomore album release Heavy Days, Katy Guillen and the Girls have established themselves as an authentic, authoritative rock band. They are known to pack in crowds at blues roadhouses and prominent concert venues alike, supporting major touring acts or headlining festivals and bills of their own. In their short time as a band, the trio has shaped their own musical identity, rooted heavily in the blues but taking cues from the timeless guitar riffs of Jimi Hendrix to the visionary songwriting of Patty Griffin and the indie rock revivalist sound of Heartless Bastards.

Propelled by a loyal contingent in their hometown of Kansas City and an impressive showing as finalists at the 2014 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Katy Guillen and the Girls have since taken their vivacious brand of blues rock to stages across the globe. In addition to a persistent cross-country performance schedule, they’ve accepted invitations to play the Montreal International Jazz Festival (July 2014) and Joe Bonamassa’s Keeping the Blues Alive At Sea cruise (February 2015). In November 2014, they were sponsored by a cultural development organization (Kultur i Väst) to take a 10-day tour of Sweden. Most recently, they opened for The Doobie Brothers at the Foundation for the Children of the Californias’ annual benefit concert in San Diego (October 2015). They have also become one of Kansas City’s most sought-after groups, earning prestigious slots at local festivals like Middle of the Map Fest and Boulevardia, and routinely selling out 500-plus-capacity venues.

Though the band formed less than 4 years ago, it took root when Guillen first picked up the guitar at the age of 8. At 14, she began participating in blues jams around Kansas City, and within a few years she was a featured guest with local blues legends like John Paul’s Flying Circus. By 2010, she was writing songs and collaborating with veteran drummer Go-Go Ray, with whom she released her first album, When I Get Away.

In September 2012, Guillen was offered an opening slot for Royal Southern Brotherhood at renowned Kansas City blues venue Knuckleheads Saloon, but at the time didn’t have a backing band. When she enlisted the talents of bassist Claire Adams and drummer Stephanie Williams, an immediate chemistry formed that would eventually push her songs to new heights. Not content to simply hold down the beat, Williams brings a signature melodic percussive voice to the group, compelled by her rock influences and experience in jazz ensembles. With Adams’ instincts as a multi-instrumentalist and composer, her impeccable bass lines and backing vocals are an ideal complement to Guillen’s searing, commanding guitar licks. While Guillen’s years as a seasoned blues guitarist—along with her education in flamenco guitar style—have informed her songwriting, the group’s collective strengths lend an immediacy to her songs while elevating and substantiating her earnest lyrical delivery.

Heavy Days will be the follow-up to Katy Guillen and the Girls’ 2014 self-titled debut album, and the next chapter in their growth as a group. They will be teaming up with Vizztone Label Group and starting an independent record label for the release, which will be available worldwide on June 24, 2016. Their summer tour schedule brings new festivals and destinations, including New York, Florida and Michigan. With every new opportunity and locale, Katy Guillen and the Girls spread their infectious and original mix of classic American genres to eager music lovers and expand their already sizable fanbase.
Not A Planet
Not A Planet
"...Step into the cage, the spectacle, the few, the proud, the strange..." writes Nathan Corsi, the guitarist, singer, and wordsmith of Not A Planet. Corsi's carefully crafted and emotionally charged lyrics sync perfectly with the swirling harmonies sung by Liam Sumnicht (drums) and Bill Sturges (bass). The songs unabashedly culminate in a blend of 60's pop, east coast indie and the blues of the north.

An Akron, Ohio native, Corsi's musical tastes and influences grew in the same fertile soil that reaped rock and roll innovators like the James Gang, Devo, the Pretenders and the Black Keys. Moving to Kansas City, by way of New York, Corsi met local music-enthusiast poster child and 96.5 the Buzz radio personality, Liam Sumnicht in 2010. With their powers combined, they immediately booked their first tour while Sumnicht simultaneously navigated Corsi throughout the KC music scene.

Extensive touring to the east coast and back in the belly of their (t)rusty van, "Trudy", Corsi and Sumnicht were accompanied by various and sundry bass players while their bond as bandmates and fellow artists grew stronger. Ripe and ready for a permanent solution, in the winter of 2012, they welcomed a bundle of joy, William "Pretty-Boy" Sturges, with open arms. William's unmatched joie de vivre made him a natural fit for NAP. A skillful stylist, Sturges' bass became the glue that bound Not A Planet's signature sound. Their first release, the NAP Sack EP, was seven tracks gleaned from a scrapped full-length recording. Latecomer, Sturges' bass tracks were overdubbed, and the songs remixed by Producer Michael Stout of the Beautiful Bodies.

The joy of connection and creating original, honest art compels the trio to bring a dreamscape collaborative to their audience. Once again working alongside Stout, the Not a Planet debut LP, "The Few, The Proud, The Strange" explores life, love, grief and the powerful visions of our collective nocturnal dream world.

Pleased as punch to have been in the top five nominated for "best indie rock song in 2012" by the Independent Music Awards for their song, Turn Me On (NAP Sack EP), Not A Planet has shared the stage with amazing bands like ZZ Ward, Seawolf, Free Energy, Grizzly Bear, Joy Formidable, Maps and Atlases, Bright Light Social Hour, Ha Ha Tonka, The Dirty Heads, Flogging Molly and Antennas Up.
Chris Meck & The Guilty Birds
Chris Meck & The Guilty Birds
When you listen to Chris Meck play guitar, it’s almost as though you’re listening to someone speak. He plays his instrument with finesse, thoughtfulness and passion. Sometimes it shreds, sometimes it weeps, sometimes it lacerates.

Meck has made a considerable contribution to Kansas City’s music scene over the past two decades as a founding member of Americana rock bands Tiny Horse, Atlantic Fadeout and The Gaslights with his wife and musical partner Abigail Henderson. He’s also lent his abilities to acts like Alejandro Escovedo, The Architects, Jon Dee Graham and Kristie Stremel. After his wife’s passing in 2013, Meck formed Chris Meck and the Guilty Birds, his first project as frontman and primary songwriter.

Now a soul and roots rock-influenced power trio, Chris Meck and the Guilty Birds have earned coveted spots on festivals such as Middle of the Map and Boulevardia, along with support slots for prestigious touring acts including Los Lobos and Band of Heathens.

With the early 2016 release of their debut full-length album, "It's 4 AM Somewhere," the Guilty Birds have received high praise for Meck's salient guitar work and girl group harmonies from the lock-step rhythm section of Calandra Rene (bass) and Michelle Bacon (drums). The album is currently in regular rotation on over 50 stations across the country, including KTBG 90.9 The Bridge (Kansas City, MO), KBOO 90.7 (Portland, OR), and WAER 88.3 (Syracuse, NY).
Erica Joy
Erica Joy
There's never been a time where Erica Joy has started singing and the room didn't stop even if for a few seconds to admire her voice. It doesn't matter what genre or style she sings in, she's going to tell you a story and she's going to make you feel things. Her voice has been described as dreamy, haunting, and a calling. Erica Joy is releasing her appropriately titled EP “Erica Joy, Introduction” backed by a delicious band composed of Britt Wild on lead guitar, Khitam Jabr on rhythm guitar, Michelle Bacon on bass, and Stephanie Williams on drums.
Venue Information:
1520 Grand Blvd
Kansas City, MO, 64108