By Rachel Dove
BELFRY, Ky. - If you were to ask each of the members of the local band “Bridgekid,” a blues and folk-rock band from the Williamson/Belfry area who their biggest musical influences are, you would receive a variety of answers.
Bands and entertainers such as the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, the White Stripes, the Black Keys, Hootie and the Blowfish, Johnny Cash, Sunday Best, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Blink-182 barely scratch the surface of groups that appeal to Bridgekid members Matt May, Ryan Carroll, Tyler Williamson and Justin Williamson.
Each member has his own personal preference, which helps them each bring something unique to the group. May and the two Williamson cousins, Tyler and Justin, got together last summer and began to play music. All three of the young men worked at Velocity Market prior to its closing in January. The guys would get together after work and play music behind the store since there were no neighbors to disturb. Ryan Carroll, who had connections to the band members, joined them later and brought another talented guitarist into the mix.
Bridgekid offers a unique sound, not only due to their style of music, but also to their instruments of choice. Though they plan to eventually introduce electric guitars and a full drum set into the mix, they currently perform with the sounds of beautiful acoustic guitars and a cajon.
The cajon, which most people who watch the band perform refer to as “the box,” is a drum that looks like a small square wooden box, and the player sits on the top of it. Most fans wonder what the instrument is for before quickly having their curiosity answered by the rhythm that Justin Williamson keeps using it to produce.
His cousin, Tyler Williamson, is an “old school soul” in every sense of the term and brings that into his guitar work and songwriting with the band.
Matt May, a member of the chorus during his time at Belfry High School, offers not only another guitar but also a perfect blues voice to complement the music that you can’t help but find yourself bobbing your head to. They have become crowd favorites at “open mic night” at WiseGuys Pizza Company in Logan. The group has also played at Summit City Lounge in Whitesburg, as well as other venues.
They also have performed live on the radio for WMMT in Whitesburg. Their music can be found on YouTube by searching Bridgekid or by friending their Facebook page.
If you’d like to give a listen to these talented young men, you can catch them live at WiseGuys Pizza most Wednesday nights for open mic along with numerous local artists. They also plan to play the “Music for the Cure” event May 17, which will be at the Chapmanville Community Center (the old Chapmanville High School). The event begins at 12:30 p.m. and proceeds will go to a local woman needing cancer treatment. More live shows will be announced on Facebook.
The group believes their music appeals to all ages. Kids love to dance and enjoy the music while adults can appreciate the old school feel of the music. Overall, the bluesy old-school-sounding band just hopes people will click “Play” on a video on their Facebook.
“If they listen and don’t like it, that’s fine. But I believe once they listen our music offers something for almost everyone and every age group,” said percussionist Justin Williamson. “I just hope people will like what we’re doing and support local music.”
The four former Belfry High School students look to gain their popularity by playing anywhere they can in the Kentucky/West Virginia area. They are currently looking for more opportunities to play. Those interested in booking the group may contact them on Facebook by searching for “Bridgekid,” or via e-mail at BridgeKidMusic@gmail.com.