Kevin F. Rose was born in Taunton, Massachusetts, and moved to Savannah in the fall of 1986 to study architecture at Savannah College of Art and Design. Before long, he was dividing his time between school and touring the Southeast as one of the electric guitarists in City of Lindas — the original alternative-rock band he co-founded with yours truly. It became perhaps the first commercially viable group of its sort to emerge from the local music scene.
After that group’s demise in 1994, he co-founded both GAM and Superhorse, which remain two of this area’s longest-running original rock bands. Rose has worked since 1990 with the Lominack Kolman Smith architecture firm where he is director of design and an award-winning project architect. One of his recent projects, Savannah’s Kehoe Iron Works at Trustees Garden, received the Marguerite Williams Award from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation; its top honor.
He also owns and runs Elevated Basement Studio, a boutique audio recording facility, and has served as lead recording engineer for the Savannah Music Festival and is the festival’s longest running employee. Among other things, he records and mixes most of their concerts for archiving and distribution via the SMF Public Radio series.
He opened TeleCaster Fishing Charters in 2008 and has earned a reputation as one of the most in-demand inshore charter fishing boat captains in our area. Rose encourages folks to follow his endeavors via Facebook, Instagram and through his various websites.
First record you ever bought with your own money: “Ha! Cream’s ‘Disraeli Gears.’”
Most memorable music concert you attended: “Wow. There are so many, but the aesthetic experience I had seeing Deacon Lunchbox was a highlight.”
One recording session you'd give anything to have been able to attend: “It’s definitely a jazz session… I love when music flies off the floor and the sum is greater than its parts. Thelonious Monk’s Trio might be the pinnacle of that, but seeing Tommy Dowd in action would scratch my hero craving.”
One record album you feel everyone should hear at least once in their life: “‘A Love Supreme’ by John Coltrane comes to mind immediately, but Jon Wayne’s ‘Texas Funeral’ keeps me laughing for all eternity.”
Favorite instrument you've owned and why: “I owned a ‘58 Fender Stratocaster. It taught me to play because it already knew all the songs. It was owned by a blues guy in West Virginia named Porky and it looked like it had been in a fire. I sold it in 2005 and bought a boat named the Telecaster.”
One style of guitar playing you wish you were more proficient at: “I’m learning lead country guitar currently. Filling in occasionally for Anders Thomsen with Damon & The Sh!tkickers is so amazing."
Most memorable gig you've played: “Opening for Bob Dylan (with City of Lindas in 1991) was a huge highlight. I imagine you’d agree.”
Favorite part of the architecture profession: “The place-making and working with clients like Charles H. Morris that are civic-minded.”
Least favorite part of the architecture profession: “The red tape. Bureaucracy is so thick, it’s like old-school Bit-O-Honey.”
On average, how many private fishing charters do you lead per month? “Half as many this year. Last year I did 110 trips as a part-time guide.”
Nicest compliment you've received from a fishing client: “That I’m a whole person. In my youth, a drunk named Watermelon once insisted that to be successful in life you should be a whole, worldly and well-rounded person. Hearing it from a stranger honored what he taught me.”
Biggest misconception people have about professional fishing boat captains: “That they aren’t whiny little girls a lot of the time.”
Most memorable recording session you've produced and/or engineered at Elevated Basement Studio: “Working with Gregg Allman several times over the years, becoming his friend and hearing his amazing stories.”
Most challenging SMF concert you've either mixed live or recorded: “Stewart Copeland’s Orchestralli in 2008. Trustees Theater stage looked like a Turkish pawn shop and the orchestra was as out there as they come.”
Favorite competitive sport you’ve been involved in: “In high school I was a decathlete and played hockey. Ten events in the decathlon satisfied my need for variety.”
Best piece of artistic-oriented advice you've received: “Be a whole person. Watermelon may have been a drunk but he knew reading great books, exposing yourself to the arts and traveling were paramount to success.”
Biggest mistake musicians make when preparing to record in a professional studio: “Not preparing. I’ve been blessed to work with some of the best.”
Pizza or Paella? “I love to make pizza, but would love to know a woman who rocks a paella.”
Gumbo or Chili? “Gumbo.”
First thing you would do as mayor of Savannah: “Make ‘vision’ the requisite for service. With that we can move mountains. Currently we have a vision deficit.”