Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Growing up in Idaho, singer, songwriter, guitarist, and multi-instrumentalist Korby Lenker started taking piano lessons in 1984 at the age of eight, and he really never looked back, stating that he never had a backup plan, that "it was always gonna be music." He had a band in high school, Clockwork Orange, which did new wave and rock covers, and while attending Western Washington University in Bellingham, he formed a regionally successful alt-bluegrass band called the Barbed Wire Cutters in the late 1990s. When the Cutters broke up following a pair of well-received albums -- 2002's self-titled Barbed Wire Cutters and 2003's Full Moon to Rise -- he moved to Seattle to focus on a solo career. Blessed with considerable acoustic guitar skills in multiple styles, and a versatile, flexible singing voice, Lenker worked hard on his songwriting, developing an accessible, non-impressionistic style that hid subtle sophistications, a bit like Paul Simon, say, or a poppier Randy Newman, combining an ease of delivery with strong song character and substance. He moved to Nashville in 2007. Lenker has released several solo albums, starting with First Takes in 2001 and including Ghost of Whiteboy in 2002 and Bellingham in 2003. He began moving in a more rock- and pop-oriented, but still largely acoustic-based, direction with 2006's impressive King of Hearts. The self-titled Korby Lenker appeared in 2014.