In this week's paper, Christian Schaeffer chatted with Kevin Renick. After a chance meeting with director Jason Reitman at Webster University, the local singer-songwriter was plucked from obscurity: His song "Up in the Air" was included in the movie of the same name. (The song is also available on the film's official soundtrack.) Renick is mainly known for writing about music, for publications such as Playback:STL, and so his emergence as a musician caught Schaeffer's eye:
Christian Schaeffer: I knew you first as a music critic, so it was a surprise when the story broke, and you were on the soundtrack.
Kevin Renick: Everyone was surprised. I have really wanted to do this most of my life. Going all the way back to Kirkwood High School, I was hearing songs in my head and scribbling lyrics out and wanting to be in the vein of Neil Young, who is my big influence. So I would imagine whole albums in my head -- I couldn't even play guitar at the time, but I was already writing albums and thinking, "Someday." Finally, my senior year, I got my first guitar. So I started writing songs and wanted to do it, but through the years, there was always something that got in the way. Either there would be a friend I was collaborating with that let me down by not wanting to do it, or there would be some ego battle, or I myself would get disillusioned. I'd break up with a girl and decide life is miserable. For various reasons, I didn't pursue it. It took a long, long time -- it took until fall of 2008 to get me thinking more seriously about it.
You can order Renick's forthcoming CD, Close to Something Beautiful, via his website and the single of the same name at CDBaby. He was kind enough to let us post the forthcoming album's title track -- and a new song -- below.