Sneaking into a 1969 Jimi Hendrix concert may have been the catalyst for Kevin Keen’s love of music, and the creation of Avalon.
“The music bug bit me hard,” Keen said. “If I had to pinpoint a time when I realized that at some point I would want to start my own band, that would be the time. Sitting there listening to Jimi play was unreal and something that stayed with me.”
Living in Zephyr at the time, Keen and longtime friend Doug Stine formed Avalon in the winter of 1983.
“We were both really into original music and wanted to perform Texas rock,” Keen said. “We wanted to be as good as the greats — Buddy Miles, Nitzinger, Bugs Henderson and Blackhorse.”
Less than six months after the band was formed, Avalon began playing venues in the Fort Worth area, Keen said. During that time, the band released a self-titled album.
“It was exciting,” Keen said. “We were being able to share our music with others who were fans of the kind of music we were playing.”
Keen likens performing live to an adrenaline rush.
“There is nothing else like it,” Keen said. “You get out there and you see people having a good time and enjoying your music. It is a lot of fun.”
Although the next several years saw different members come and go, Keen, lead vocalist and guitarist, never gave up on the dream of fronting a band.
“Anything can happen in this business,” Keen said. “I have seen it. I just want to keep making music and having a good time.”
Now living in May, Keen and new band mates Cody Ford and Adam Kincaid are breathing new life into Avalon.
“The last couple of years have been awesome since Cody and Adam came on,” Keen said. “There have been a lot of blood, sweat and tears put into this. Those two guys bring out the best in me. They bring me amazing music and it keeps me on my toes. I am 50 years old and those two guys are a lot younger. I can’t let them show me up.”
Avalon is currently working on a second album, “Echoes of Time,” a compilation of work Keen said is different from the first.
“This one is more intense and power packed,” Keen said. “There will definitely be more Texas rock on this album.”
After spending many years in the Metroplex, Keen said he is glad to be “home” and that Avalon will be a featured attraction at this year’s Brownwood Reunion Celebration.
“This is gonna be so sweet,” Keen said. “To be able to play music I love — here — is going to be very rewarding.”
Avalon has been rehearsing and touring Texas and Oklahoma for the last year. Keen said Avalon enjoys hearing from music enthusiasts and encourages fans of Texas rock to visit www.myspace.com/avalonawesome.
“Avalon is about a triangle of people who have given their heart and soul to music and hope there are folks who will appreciate our efforts.”