It’s a presidential election year, so everybody wants your vote, but not all the campaigners are politicians. Some are rock and roll bands.
Santa Rosa singer, songwriter and guitarist Billy Kingsborough and his Kingsborough band seek online votes in “Hard Rock Rising, the Global Battle of the Bands Contest.”
The contest started with regional contests conducted through Hard Rock Cafes around the world, with 12,000 Northern California bands eventually culled down to 10 finalists.
After three nights of live competition at the Hard Rock Cafe in San Francisco last month, Kingsborough won the right to go for the global title.
“We only started playing about eight months ago,” said Kingsborough, 23, whose daytime gig is working as an interview coordinator for Streetwise Reports.com, an online financial newsletter.
The band also includes guitarists Alex Leach and Ross Barbieri, bassist Chris Mangione and drummer John Whitney.
“We’re such a new young band that the support we’ve received in Sonoma County really gives us hope,” Kingsborough said. “We currently have almost 800 votes but we need a lot more if we want to make the top 10.”
In the next round of voting, bands from 86 cities around the world will be whittled down to 10 finalists. The balloting deadline is April 24.
A panel of music industry professionals, including Steve Van Zandt of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, will pick the final winner. The winning band will play at the Hard Rock Calling festival in July at London’s Hyde Park.
During its short life, the Kingsborough band has played all over Sonoma County at coffee houses and nightclubs, including the Forestville Club and Santa Rosa’s Russian River Brewing Co. The band will play May 11 at the Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood.
Rooted in blues, the band has done its own cover versions of such classics as Muddy Waters’ ‘Rollin’ and Tumblin’” and Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads.”
Contemporary alternative rock influences include the Black Keys, the White Stripes, Incubus and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
“We have a lot of original music,” Kingsborough said. “That’s mostly what we do. They’re all my songs.”
A 2006 graduate of Cardinal Newman High School in Santa Rosa, Kingsborough got his bachelor’ degree in business administration from the University of the Redlands in Southern California in 2010.
Juggling his daytime job and nighttime music hasn’t been easy, Kingsborough said, but he’s convinced it’s worth it.
“It makes me a well-rounded person,” he said, “but I don’t get a lot of sleep.”
To vote for Kingsborough, go to one of these links:
For more on the band, go to: www.kingsboroughmusic.com