[Home Page] [This Week] [Classifieds] [Legals] [Obituaries] [Newsstands] [Subscriptions] [Advertising] [Deadlines] [About Us] [FAQ] [Archives] [Community Links] [Contact Us]

Regional Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, May 3, 2007

Kendall has business as a guide as he hunts for music career

By Rachel Dutil

When Bobby Kendall starts something, he puts his heart into it.

Kendall is a 21-year-old business student, musician, hunting guide, and landlord. He is hoping to make a career playing music.

Kendall has been around music his whole life, he said. His father, Bob Kendall, played guitar for Billy Montana and the Longshots – a band based in Voorheesville that had a contract with Warner Brothers. The group disbanded 16 years ago. Billy Montana lives in Nashville now and is a well-known songwriter, with hits like "Bring on the Rain," and "Suds in the Bucket."

When Kendall was a kid, he and his family toured around the country with Billy Montana and the Longshots. His mother, Sharon Kendall, managed the band’s fan club.

Kendall is heading to Nashville at the end of May to stay with Montana. The two will visit studios, bring demo recordings to various record labels, and, Kendall said, he has scheduled appointments with a few management companies.

It will be a "behind-the-scenes tour of Nashville," Kendall told The Enterprise. "I’d like to get hooked up with the right people," he said.

Music is a "very important" aspect of Kendall’s life, he said, "considering I’m choosing it over continuing with school." He will graduate with an associate’s degree in business from Adirondack Community College in May.

Kendall decided that he wanted to play music when he was in the eighth grade; his English teacher brought in a guitar and played and sang the Semisonic song, "Closing Time" to the class. That sparked Kendall’s interest. His father gave him a guitar and began teaching him how to play.

Kendall remembers his frustration and his blisters as he struggled with notes and chords. Now, he is a one-man band, playing guitar, creating bass with a pedal board, and looping sounds.

Playing solo has made Kendall a better musician, and has boosted his confidence, he said. "It’s gotten me a great foundation, and now I’ll be able to work with other musicians better," he said.

When playing in a band, Kendall said, you don’t concentrate on yourself. When you play solo, you can hear everything, including mistakes.

"I like to solo because there’s no hiding," Kendall said. "You can hear your voice a lot better."

Kendall has been spending a lot of time at DMS Studio in Clarksville, recording a CD that he hopes will be released by mid-summer.

Music roots

Kendall was born on a farm in Guilderland, and his family moved to Delmar, then North Carolina, and finally, six years ago, he moved with his mother, and sister, Rebecca, to Lake George.

After graduating from high school, Kendall enrolled at Albany College of Pharmacy. "I don’t know why I was there," he told The Enterprise.

His grades weren’t so great, he remembered, so he decided to stop attending his classes. "I’d go out in the woods, sit in my tree stand, and read there," he said. "I brought my grades up by not going to class."

He said that he would read his textbooks, but, when that became dull, he started reading real-estate books. He figured out how to buy property with no down payment and no credit, he said.

He went home to Lake George in December, ending his time at Albany College of Pharmacy, he said. In January, he bought his first piece of property, a building with three apartments. He was 18.

Soon after, he bought 92 acres of land, subdivided it, and has "sold some lots," he said. He plans to "keep rolling with the real estate," he said, and then "cash out when things start to happen" with his music.

Kendall’s connection to music extends further than his father and Billy Montana. His great uncle, George Kendall, who lives in New Scotland, taught Kendall’s father how to play, he said.

His Uncle George still plays out sometimes, Kendall said with pride. "Now all three of us get together and play sometimes," he said of the three generations of Kendalls.

Doing what he loves

"You’ve got to get out and do things," Kendall said about the motivation behind his song, "Close to You." The song will be featured in a one-minute-and-20-second music video at the beginning and end of a hunting television show, Driven 24/7, which is broadcast on the Men’s Channel to 33 million viewers, he said.

Kendall has been bow-hunting since he was 11 or 12, he said. Last fall, he went to Spike County in western Illinois, home to the biggest deer in the country, Kendall said, to work as a hunting guide.

A camera crew from Driven 24/7 was filming a hunting trip there, Kendall said. The show is videotaped all over the country. Most nights, as the crew members all sat around the campfire, Kendall would play guitar and sing.

On the day that the crew got a deer, the host of the show, Pat Reeves, was in the area, and stopped by to see the deer, Kendall recalled. When Reeves arrived, Kendall was just starting to play.

"I’d been watching his shows since I was a kid," Kendall said of Reeves. "When I met him, it was really cool; and, when he wanted to use my song, it was even cooler," he said.

"It fit perfectly," Kendall said of the match between the music and the program. Reeves called the video "one of the most powerful openings to any hunting show he’s ever seen," Kendall said proudly.

The show airs for 26 weeks, with two episodes per week, Kendall said. The episode with the Spike County hunt will feature Kendall as one of the guides for the team, he said.

With the exception of a week spent in Nashville, Kendall will be busy playing music all summer. He has shows lined up from Lake George, to Albany, to J.J. Maddens in New Scotland.

He is also "booking all over the place" in Spike County, where he will resume working as a hunting guide in the fall.

Though Kendall prefers bow hunting because "you’ve got to get closer" right on top of the animals," his song, "Close to You," isn’t specifically about getting close to the deer, he said. "It’s more about people who you are close to," he said.

"Sometimes you have to get away for a while to make something happen in your life," Kendall said. "Little sacrifices now, for big rewards later," he said.

"What matters most to me is doing what I love," Kendall sang in a deep voice at a bar in downtown Albany on a sunny April afternoon. The song, "Man on the Stage" was one that Kendall had written only days earlier for "his reporter friend" he announced with a shy smile before he played.

"He’s a very determined kid," his mother, Sharon, told The Enterprise. "I’m very proud of him."

Cornelius appreciates search of heritage, telling stories

By Rachel Dutil

Over the past 20 years, David Cornelius has made it his mission to "break up misconceptions" about Native Americans.

Cornelius, a 56-year-old Schenectady resident, volunteers as a genealogist at the Iroquois Indian Museum at Howes Cave, and has just started a series of Native American culture and heritage programs.

The programs will run on the first Thursday of each month at the Moon and River Café on Ferry Street in Schenectady, beginning at 7 p.m. This week’s discussion is on Native food sources, said Cornelius.

He got the idea for the series, he said, "from who I am." His mother, Phyllis Weaver, descended from Pilgrims; his father, Charles Cornelius, was Native American, he said.

"I see myself trying to build this up as a clearinghouse for Natives to come and talk or give demonstrations," Cornelius said of the program. He starts a discussion lasting about an hour, followed by an hour-long question-and-answer session. "I’m doing this because no one else is," he said.

"I always knew I was Indian" I couldn’t get away from that," Cornelius said.

Cornelius’s interest in his heritage stems, in part, to the experiences of his grandmother, he said.

"Having been persecuted, my grandmother didn’t want to talk about being Indian, even though her color gave her away," Cornelius said. His grandmother’s father was a tenant farmer and blacksmith, he said, and, because Indians could not own land at the time, her father was forced to rent land; consequently, the family moved a lot.

Each time the family moved, Cornelius said, his grandmother was held back a grade in school. She told him that, at age 13, she was only in the third grade, he said. Cornelius said he believes this was likely because of her color.

"They were treated differently because they were Indians," he said.

That’s what got him interested in Native studies, he said. He began studying his genealogy, trying to figure out who he was, he said. "From genealogy," he said, "is history."

He realized that he "should be able to get a degree in this," he said.

The Empire State College allows students to design their own programs, he said. "So I did." Cornelius earned a bachelor’s degree last year in Colonial and Native American Studies.

Once you start learning about Native culture, Cornelius said, "you can really appreciate it." Stories play an important part of the culture, he said, and all stories have a moral.

Most stories, he said, are based on something that actually happened, but the story is "colorized" to make it more interesting. Cornelius plans to add color literally to some traditional stories through painting them, he said.

"I look at stories and try to determine what inspired the stories," he said. "If you interpret it correctly, you learn the history."

Raising awareness

"I don’t do anything in a small way," Cornelius told The Enterprise. In addition to his work at the Iroquois Indian Museum, he said, he is retired from the United States Post Office, was active in Guilderland soccer and started the referee program, and is writing a book.

The book will be a novel based on the struggles of the Oneida tribe, which was burned out of its home in 1780 in Oriskany, near Rome, by the Iroquois, he said. The attack on the Oneida came as a result of an attack in 1779 made by General John Sullivan on the neutral nations, of which the Iroquois were a part. Sullivan’s campaign was to "terrorize" the Indians to keep them out of the Revolutionary War, Cornelius explained.

The Oneidas migrated to Schenectady after their village was destroyed, he said. There they lived in a barracks for continental soldiers, he said, but, when the soldiers arrived, the Oneida people were forced out into the winter, where they were freezing and starving to death. They then moved north to Palmerstown, where they were able to hunt and feed themselves, Cornelius said.

"They not only learned the land, they farmed it," he said.

Cornelius explained that Indians didn’t hunt in the manner that is standard today. "They would go get a deer," he said. "They knew where the deer were" They prepared the area where the deer lived."

They would also prepare an area where berries would grow, he said. "White people think they just went in the woods and found this stuff," Cornelius said. "There was a lack of understanding between cultures," he added.

Meat was generally eaten only in the winter, Cornelius explained. "I think it was the best way to keep it" from spoiling, he said. In the summer, they would eat fish, poultry, and foods they would grow and harvest themselves, he said.

"They didn’t go fishing," he said, "They went and got fish" They knew where the fish were; they made a place for them."

Cornelius himself, loves to fish, he said. He used to be a trout-fishing guide, he said. "I knew where there were pools of fish that existed, and I went there," he said. His favorite spot, he said, is about 15 miles "deep in the woods" on the Cold River.

Other than fish, he said, "I haven’t killed anything since I was a kid."

[Return to Home Page]