KEN “the ROCKET” KORB  

 

Ken Korb was born into a large musical family. His dad played stand-up bass in swing bands in the 40’s and was a long-time member of the Long Island Banjo Society. His mom played piano and sang, and several siblings played various instruments. The old timey music Ken loves was a constant in this home; the old style early blues masters, as well as Hank Williams and Jimmie Rodgers, are early and important influences. Ken remembers Stephen Foster parties where everyone would play and sing. By the age of fourteen, Ken had picked up a harmonica and was not willing to put it down. In addition to taking lessons and learning such techniques as tongue-blocking, he would play along to anything, including the commercials on TV.
“Don’t you ever talk?” asked his mother. Ken answered by playing another song.

 

Soon Ken was playing in bands. He acquired the nickname “The Rocket” early on due to the “outer space” sounds he can make on the harmonica --- well, he still makes them! A local legend for thirty some-odd years, he has guest-soloed with countless bands, welcomed wherever he appears on the Long Island scene. He has played as a studio musician for many artists and shared the stage with James Cotton, Johnny Winter, Chris Smither,
John Hammond, Jonathan Edwards and Alison Krauss.

 

But Ken has not confined his music to the harmonica. He is an accomplished mandolinist, and plays guitar, penny whistle and clarinet. And, of course, we can’t forget that washboard! Ken’s is unique and memorable, with an incredible variety and profusion of noisemakers and a painting he created (Ken is a real artist of the painting and drawing sort); and the back is signed by many of the headliners he has appeared with. He is currently a member of the American Primitive String Band (an all-star old-time band), Rocket and the Launchers (a blues band), and the Red River Ramblers (a country band). With the extraordinary guitar-picker Bruce MacDonald, as Mac and the Rocket, Ken represented the Long Island Blues Society in the solo-duo category of the 2007 International Blues Challenge. In 2010, Ken returned to Memphis as a soloist and won his venue.
Only eight of the eighty-three solo-duo acts in the competition made the finals at the IBC. Ken was one of them. A true champion!

 

Ken can always be reached by email at rocketfanmail@aol.com.
A CD of awesome old-time harmonica solos, Sweet Potato Pie, is available for the asking.

KEN “the Rocket” KORB

A  LONG  ISLAND  LEGEND  FOR  OVER  FORTY  YEARS

Master of the harmonica, versatile entertainer and multi-talented, multi-genre, multi-instrumentalist and friend to all.
2010 International Blues Challenge Finalist.

Available for parties, library concerts, festivals and shows.

 

Solo showsDuos: Mac & the Rocket, Korb & Kendall
Bands
: American Primitive String Band (Old Time), The Red River Ramblers (Country), Rocket & the Launchers (Blues)

 

For bookings, call 516-790-0659. Email: rocketfanmail@aol.com