Plender CD earns worldwide recognition
Mon, 08/21/2017 - 8:13am admin
I wanted to bring joy to someone,” Plender said.
On Tuesday, Aug. 29, lifelong South Dakotan and current New Underwood resident Kim Plender will be honored at the 42nd annual National Old Time Music Festival at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in LeMars, Iowa. Plender’s recently released CD “These Are a Few of My Favorite Things” was nominated for and named the “Classic Country Female CD of the Year” by the Rural Roots Music Commission.
Plender, who describes herself as “the happiest girl in the whole USA” as the recipient of the award, will perform in several slots on a variety of stages during the festival, in addition to giving a 25 minute performance on the main stage when she is presented with her award.
Plender’s musical journey began when, as a child in the Rapid City area, her parents introduced her to a flavor of country music that is now regarded as “solid gold” or “the oldies.” Plender recalls riding in the back seat of her father’s pickup with her siblings, listening to the radio and singing along. Plender’s mother was a pianist, and Plender would sit next to her on the piano bench and sing along.
When she was 14 years old, Plender received a guitar for Christmas, launching her on her own musical adventure. For most of her life, Plender, who is now 60 years old, limited her public performances to church and the singing of gospel music. In recent years, though, she began to look for other venues through which she could use her music to touch people’s lives.
“I wanted to bring joy to someone,” Plender said.
She found a place in assisted living and nursing homes throughout the area, and soon had a schedule full of hour long performances. Already well versed in gospel music, Plender sought an additional genre. “I clicked with classic country,” said Plender.
She quickly discovered that the songs of her childhood brought memories to her audience members. Her repertoire grew to include 50s and 60s rock. She had found her niche.
As her performances gained in popularity, Plender’s husband, Ron, encouraged her to make a CD of her music. Plender brushed his suggestion aside, figuring life was past the season in which making a CD would be worthwhile.
This summer, however, Plender joined other performers to create the Grand Jamboree, a weekly high-energy show featuring musicians, a magician, comedy and costume changes throughout. As one of the headliners, Plender was encouraged to have a CD of her own music to sell to fans of the show. Finally, the time was right. Plender approached Scott Miller of Flat Iron Recording in Rapid City.
Backed by the band Buffalo Grass, Plender applied her rhythm guitar and vocals to 11 classic country songs, as well as two of her own compositions, “Dark Green Pine Trees” and “Home.” Plender’s full, smooth voice is a perfect fit for Ian Tyson’s “Someday Soon” and “Cowboy’s Sweetheart,” first made famous by Patsy Montana. Fiddle, mandolin and lead guitar compliment Plender throughout the album. Plender’s style is smooth and easy, full enough to be country, but without the gravel that is sometimes associated with classic country.
Armed with her album, Plender attended a country music festival at the High Country Guest Ranch, Hill City, earlier in the summer. Artist and traditional country music advocate Bob Everhart and his wife, Sheila, performed that day. After the performance, Plender approached Everhart with her CD and gave him a copy, asking him to critique it.
Everhart, who is heavily involved with the National Traditional Country Music Association (NTCMA), an organization dedicated to the celebration of traditional country music, responded with an email shortly thereafter. “These Are a Few of My Favorite Things” had not only been nominated, it had also been reviewed in the organization’s e-magazine, which has numerous followers in the United States, Germany and other points throughout Europe.
The festival at which Plender will accept her award and perform features musicians playing on ten different stages for seven days, spanning Aug. 28 to Sept. 3. Plender will be joined by musicians from across America, as well as musicians from around the world whose own music has been shaped by traditional country music.