Ken & Nicole, a couple of musicians who like to be local


Based on the photos and online briefs, Ken and Nicole seem to be a pretty good duo, playing eclectic covers of rock, pop, country, folk and Americana.

They have last names: hers is Morgan, and hers is Ray. He plays the guitar ; she plays the ukulele. They have been together for over seven years.

Normally they play about one gig a week, usually in or near Hendo. But curious minds want to know more, especially if they plan to visit Ken & Nicole at one of the local cider houses or wineries.

This week, they’ll be playing Bold Rock on Friday night and Appalachian Ridge on Sunday. Here are 10 questions and their answers, which will allow us to better understand and appreciate Ken & Nicole.

What is the relationship between you two? Are you married?

Yes, but not between them. We’ve been playing music together in one way or another since 2013, when we first met singing in church. We played together in The Groove Shakers for several years.

We also have another band project about to come out called Dive Bar Divas. So stay vigilant!

Ken morgan

I have the impression that your music is very median. Develop or correct this impression. Include songs that you play a lot and that are popular with your fans.

We like to think that we have a fairly wide variety of songs; a little something for everyone. We try to make musical transitions that you rarely hear, like going from Willie Nelson to Earth, Wind and Fire to Taylor Swift.

We use a variety of instruments including guitar, ukulele, keyboard, bass, harmonica, and kazoo. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard a scorching kazoo solo.

We also like to mix styles, like playing Sublime’s “Santeria” on the ukulele with a female singer or mixing Ed Sheeran with Marvin Gaye.

Do you both have professional training and experience as musicians? Do you have day jobs?

Neither of us have any formal musical training, per se, but we have years of experience. Ken has been making music in one form or another since childhood, beginning with singing in the Cherub Choir at church. He participated in groups and choirs throughout middle school, high school and college.

He has been active in the Asheville / Hendersonville music scene since 2010, performing in bands such as A Social Function, Commodore Fox and The Caribbean Cowboys.

Ken’s day job is Music Director at Covenant Community United Methodist Church in Asheville.

Nicole has also participated in the choir in middle school, high school and college. She joined the music scene with The Groove Shakers in 2016.

Nicole is a medical assistant at Blue Ridge Health in Hendersonville.

Nicole ray

Obviously, you don’t have a busy performance schedule. Why is that?

We just started with the duo in early 2020. Then, of course, COVID hit and the gigs dried up. We’re just starting to be successful now, but we have day jobs and do it for fun, so we’re happy with three or four gigs a month.

What is your niche?

We just want to play in a place where people are aware that we are in the room. We love laid-back spaces where people can engage with us, or sit and listen, or sit and talk. We don’t need to be the center of attention. We love to play in cellars, cider houses and breweries.

Tell us something about Ken that will give music lovers a glimpse of him as a person and a musician.

Ken is the old one. His formative years were the 80s. He likes music from the 70s and 80s, likes music from the 60s and 90s and tolerates everything from 2000 onwards.

He has a wonderful wife who works in health care (bless his heart), a son at UNCG and a daughter in high school. He loves cats and dogs, loves to cook and also does woodturning.

Tell us about Nicole who will give music lovers a glimpse of her as a person and a musician.

Nicole, meanwhile, was born in the 80s. She listens to almost all genres of music depending on her mood. She recently chose the ukulele and a little bass as a COVID hobby so she doesn’t get too overwhelmed by Ken.

She likes any excuse to dress up, but is actually a bit shy and prefers board games with close friends and reading challenges on comfy sofas when she’s not singing or, you know, practicing music. medicine. She is married to a teacher from Asheville with two elementary-age children.

What do you think of the live music scene in Hendersonville?

We love to play in and around Hendersonville. The people are always so friendly and seem to really enjoy the live music. There are many great venues and music groups playing in the area. There’s always something to do. It’s good!

Where are Ken and Nicole going with their music? (recording, touring, etc.)

At the top, baby! In fact, we don’t have big aspirations. We just love to play music and entertain people. We are happy to play in western North Carolina. It really is the best place in the world! (Sorry Toledo.)

What is your philosophy of being the Ken & Nicole duo?

If the audience is not entertained, what good is it? We don’t do a lot of songs just for ourselves. We make songs that we hope people will want to hear and enjoy.

Appalachian Ridge Craft Hard Cider

749 ch. Chestnut Gap, Hendersonville

Saturday November 13, 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Excellent Duo by Bill & Tad, acoustic, blues to Beatles, 12-string guitar, djembe, singers

Sunday November 14, 2:30 p.m., Ken & Nicole, singers, guitarist, ukulele, covers, rock, pop, country, folk, Americana

Blue Ghost Brewery

125 Underwood Road, Fletcher

Sunday November 13, 3 p.m.-7 p.m., Pickle Music by The Log Noggins (fusion / progressive southern rock) and the Bald Mountain Boys (smokin ‘mountain grass), as part of the Picklepalooza event

Bold rock cider

72 School House Road, Mills River

Friday November 12, 6 p.m., Ken & Nicole, singers, guitarist, ukulele, covers, rock, pop, country, folk, Americana

Saturday, November 13, 2 p.m., Super ’60s, party band playing 1960s pop, hits, classics

Scorched Shirt Vineyards

2695 Sugarloaf Road, Hendersonville

Saturday November 13, 2 p.m.-5 p.m., Roots & Dore, American blues, soul, rock, based in Asheville,

Sunday November 14, 2 p.m.-5 p.m., Ben Phantom, singer, songwriter, guitarist, covers, originals on his travels around the world

D9 Hendersonville Brewery

425 N. Main St, Hendersonville

Friday November 12, 7-10 p.m., Vilai Harrington, soulful Americana with a country accent

Dry Falls Brewery

425 Kanuga Road, Hendersonville

Friday November 12, 7 p.m., Awake in the Dream and Becky Stephenson, all rock, today’s pop, covers, originals

Guidon Brewery

415 8th Avenue East, Hendersonville

Friday November 12, 7 p.m., The Baggage Brothers, acoustic duo, Scott Moss and Derek McCoy, singers, guitarists

Mills River Brewing Co.

336 Banner Farm Road, Mills River

Friday November 12, 7-10 p.m., Adi the Monk, blues, jazz, funk guitarist, based in Asheville

Saturday November 13, 2 p.m.-5 p.m., Hope Griffin Trio, folk, Americana, pop

Sunday November 14, 2 p.m.-5 p.m., Two Step Too, Just Rick and Marc Brown, eclectic

Oklawaha Brewing Company

147 1st Avenue E. Hendersonville

Thursday November 11 7-9 p.m., Collin Cheek, covers and originals, singer, guitarist

Friday November 12, 8 p.m.-11 p.m., ALR Trio, blues, rock, covers, originals

Saturday November 13, 8 p.m.-11 p.m., JED Flanders, cover group for three, based on Hedno, reggae, indie

Packa’s place

4210 chemin Brevard, horseshoe

Saturday November 13, 2 p.m.-5 p.m., Perry Wing Combo, duo playing originals, Texas country / Americana

Sunday, Nov 2 p.m., 2 p.m.-4 p.m., Lefty Carmean, soloist, singer, guitarist, covers, alternative country, classic country, Americana

Point Lookout Wineries

408 Appleola Road, Hendersonville

Sunday November 14, 2 pm-5pm, Almost Vintage, classic rock band, based in Morganton

The Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards

588 ch. Chestnut Gap, Hendersonville

Saturday November 13, 3 p.m.-6 p.m., Hunnilicious, mother / daughter singing duo

Sunday November 14, 2 p.m.-5 p.m., Brian Ashley Jones, soul singer, acclaimed guitarist, country, blues

Flat rock of the vineyards of the Saint Paul mountain

2698 C Greenville Hwy., Flat Rock

Sunday, November 14, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Geriatric Jukebox, husband and wife sing favorite songs from the 60s and 70s

Sierra Nevada Mill River

100 Sierra Nevada Road, Mills River

Saturday, November 13, 2 p.m.-5 p.m., Daniel Shaerin, singer, songwriter, finger-style guitarist, based in Asheville

Sunday November 14, 2 p.m.-5 p.m., duo King Garbage, Vic Dimotsis and Zach Cooper, based in Asheville, singers, songwriters, multi-instrumentalists

Southern Appalachian Brewery

822 Locust Street, Ste. 100, Hendersonville

Thursday November 11, 6-8 p.m., Howie Johnson and Bill Mattocks, blues, classic rock, eclectic

Saturday November 13, 6-8 p.m., Mattocks-Johnson Band, blues, classic rock, eclectic

Sunday, November 14, noon-3 p.m., Hendo Showcase Brunch with Carver, Carmody, McIntire with Johnnie Blackwell, eclectic rock

South Rock Sports Grill

830 Greenville Road, Hendersonville

Saturday November 13, 8 p.m.-12 p.m., Sinder Ella, classic and southern rock, covers; Based in Asheville

2nd Act coffee, wine and craft beer bar

101 E. Allen Street, Hendersonville

Friday November 12, 7-9 p.m., Foreign Landers Duo, South Carolinian David Benedict and Irish Tabitha Agnew, bluegrass, folk

Saturday November 13, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Jason Whitaker, guitarist, acoustic, Americana, blues, country, rock

The Dugout Sports Bar & Taphouse

430 N. Main St., Hendersonville

Thursday November 11 from 8 p.m. to midnight (every Thursday), open jam

Friday November 12, 8 p.m., Pleasantly Wild, alternative band from Asheville, originals

Saturday November 13, 8 p.m. to midnight, Ricky Gunter Band, singer, songwriter, country

La Serre Moto Café

4021 Haywood Road (Highway 191), Mills River

Friday November 12, 7-10 p.m., Howie Johnson and Bill Mattocks, acoustic duo, “play whatever you want”

Saturday, Nov 13, 6 p.m., Marvin King Revue, blues; and Pyletribe, rock (Chris Pyle, singer, guitarist; Artimus Pyle, drums; Josh Chassner, guitar, percussion; and Matt Pike, bass)

The Loft Café & Pub

111 Joel Wright Drive, Hendersonville

Saturday, November 13, 6 to 9 p.m., Gin Mill Pickers, Randy Sarton and Eric Ellis, an eclectic mix of Americana based folk / rag based in Asheville

The Poé House

105 1st Avenue West, Hendersonville

Saturday November 13, 7-10 p.m., Mary Kenyon, independent singer, songwriter, based in Asheville

Triskele brewing company

340 7th Avenue East, Hendersonville

Friday November 12, 7 pm-10pm, Mojomatic, “grooves so good that swinging your head can explode”

Want to be included in “Live Music? »Email your information to Steve Wong at [email protected] by Monday 8:00 am for the upcoming Thursday-Sunday. Remember to send details about your performer as well as a good high resolution photo.


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