“I travel these highways/and listen to the wheels roll along/just telling my story …” Simple and true. That’s what singer songwriter Kort McCumber does. To the tune of about 50,000 miles in the last year alone. “I don’t know for sure,” says Kort, “but I’d guess I’m creeping up on a half a million miles over the last ten years.” That’s a lot of miles, a lot of smiles, and a fair share of calamities, mishaps and broke-down rigs along the way. Not all the stories are born when the “wheels roll along.” Some roll along when the wheels don’t.
“The road is tough,” admits Kort, “but I love it in a ‘man-am-I-crazy-or-what’ kinda way.” While he readily admits to loving the ‘playing music part of it … anywhere, anytime’, it’s the in between times that get tough; the getting there, getting set up, getting packed up and getting up to get goin’ to the next show that makes the road wearisome. That and the fact that he misses his home, wife, dogs “and the sanity they afford me. But when I weigh it all out, I know this is what I want to do. This is what I gotta do.”
Over the last ten years, Kort has honed his skills as a working musician playing more than 1000 live shows throughout the U.S. and Europe. Kort writes, plays and sings Americana Music - equal parts folk, country, blues and bluegrass, with a healthy dose of something fresh. After moving to Colorado in 2003, the music took a decidedly more country/bluegrass turn and dug deeper into the roots of his Scotch-Irish heritage. In 2007, he released his sixth CD, “Lickskillet Road,” featuring appearances from Vince Gill, Sally Van Meter, Don Conoscenti and more. Last year, he was back in the mixing booth putting the finishing touches on a live DVD, captured at the famed Boulder Theater on an awesome night that saw no less than fifteen great musicians join him on stage. Somewhere along the line he also found time to compete in, and win, a couple nationally known singer songwriter contests.
Kort weaves a rich and diverse tapestry of musical experience, skill and energy into each and every one of his many musical endeavors. A classically trained pianist & cellist (he learned from his mom, Joy Myers, who played for the Jacksonville Symphony for more than two decades) today Kort plays guitar, mandolin, banjo, harmonica, piano, bouzouki, cello, bass, and more. He also plays golf. Or at least he used to – NCAA Division I golf. His Father Jim owns McCumber Golf, a worldwide leader in course design and operations and Uncle Mark spent nearly 30 years on the PGA Tour, playing today on the Senior Tour.
“People ask me why I chose music over golf,” says Kort. “Well, I didn’t. I didn’t choose music, it chose me.” Americana music fans are glad it did. Live and in person or through the magic of recording technology, you gotta check out this hard driving and hard driven musician. He’s back in the studio this year with a “really exciting project for me,” as he says. “Not quite as country as the last record - a little more back to my folk roots. Of course I’ll still play the country and bluegrass live. I love that stuff. But the time is right to record some other stuff, a little more social commentary and a little more direct to the times.” Look for the new CD later this year and look for Kort in a town near you soon – at a gig, hangin' around a festival, sleeping in a campground, broke down on the side of the road or heading down another new one, “listening to the wheels roll along.”