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Season 1

What Did Melissa Etheridge Tell Ken Valdez

Ken Valdez - Ooka Sushi

Sometimes a chance encounter with Melissa Etheridge gave Ken Valdez the boost he needed.

In this episode Ken Valdez “The Best Kept Secret” talks about his journey from Santa Fe New Mexico to performing the big stage with greats like BB King, Buddy Guy, and Johnny Lang.

“Melissa Etheridge, gave me some great advice.”

Lost and looking for reason; one of Kens heroes gave him more than just a reason to pursue music full-time.

 

Restaurant

Ooka Sushi

Address:6520 150th St W #400, Apple Valley, MN 55124
Hours: 11AM–3PM4:30–9:30PM
http://www.ookamn.com/
_________________________________________________________

Links:

https://www.kenvaldez.com/
https://www.facebook.com/kenvaldezmusic
https://twitter.com/kenvaldez
https://www.reverbnation.com/kenvaldez

Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/user/kenvaldezmusic

Support Brews & Eats

patreon.com/judhailey

Mentioned Artists:

Alana Davis

http://amzn.to/2CYjxJK

 

Book:

All You Need to Know About The Music Business

http://amzn.to/2yRSk8l

 

Patreon: Show your support for each one of these episodes by donating a $1 or more. https://www.patreon.com/judhailey

 

Contact Us:

Contact

0:00:00.900,0:00:05.549
welcome to another episode of Brews &
Eats With Badass Peeps my name is Jud

0:00:05.549,0:00:09.000
I’m a singer/songwriter
and the host today.

0:00:09.000,0:00:14.360
today we’re checking out Ooka Sushi with our friend Ken Valdez. Join
us!

0:00:34.350,0:00:39.400
On today’s episode we’re lucky to have “the
best kept secret” Ken Valdez. Born and

0:00:39.400,0:00:44.320
raised in Santa Fe New Mexico he began
his career at early age. It wasn’t long

0:00:44.320,0:00:48.460
before Ken was turning heads with his
unique voice, gritty guitar, and soul

0:00:48.460,0:00:53.140
gripping songwriting. Were he found himself on
stage with heroes like BB King, Buddy Guy,

0:00:53.140,0:00:58.360
Jonny Lang, and even Keith Urban. Ken, tell
us a little bit more about you. How did

0:00:58.360,0:01:04.290
you get into the music industry?

0:01:04.290,0:01:10.060
ever since I was a kid. I knew that I
heard things differently, I felt things

0:01:10.060,0:01:15.580
differently with music and I
couldn’t you know quite put it into

0:01:15.580,0:01:17.860
words it’s just something that kind of
gripped me and some that I’ve always

0:01:17.860,0:01:22.630
wanted to you know kind of pursue even
when I didn’t know exactly what it was

0:01:22.630,0:01:27.100
that I was gonna be doing or you know I
mean I’m just a kid. My dad would be

0:01:27.100,0:01:31.240
playing music all the time he was in a
band he was in high school they were

0:01:31.240,0:01:36.069
they were gonna be something something
special but uh apparently they they all

0:01:36.069,0:01:40.420
kind of opted to go to college instead
of pursue the dream and you know ever

0:01:40.420,0:01:44.140
since I was a kid this is all I ever
really wanted to do and there came a

0:01:44.140,0:01:46.810
point in my life where I just kind of
figured well if this is what I want to

0:01:46.810,0:01:51.369
do you got to start somewhere so I
picked up a guitar and tried to figure

0:01:51.369,0:01:55.690
it out
yeah self-taught and just the bottle

0:01:55.690,0:01:59.050
full of ambition just go.

0:01:59.050,0:02:04.000
man
on and off like throughout my teen years

0:02:04.000,0:02:10.509
but I think I really got very into it
when I was about 19 or so I just kind of

0:02:10.509,0:02:14.770
sat there and said well alright it’s
supposed to sound a certain way so let’s

0:02:14.770,0:02:20.440
talk about how you made it from Santa Fe
New Mexico to the Minneapolis music

0:02:20.440,0:02:28.180
scene calling Minneapolis home yeah
absolutely I kind of heard it through

0:02:28.180,0:02:35.380
friends out there Santa Fe in in the
late 90s early 2000s probably more so in

0:02:35.380,0:02:38.690
the late 90s now think
about it there was an incredible scene

0:02:38.690,0:02:43.460
out there and a few buddies of mine and
I we talked about it a lot like just the

0:02:43.460,0:02:47.540
amount of talent and just you know who
was there and where they were playing it

0:02:47.540,0:02:51.680
was the most interesting thing because
you had these tremendous players and

0:02:51.680,0:02:56.959
they all play at original music like
there was there really was no cover band

0:02:56.959,0:02:59.810
you know that there weren’t any cover
bands out there it was original music

0:02:59.810,0:03:05.750
and people came to go hear original
music the funny thing is it’s like in

0:03:05.750,0:03:11.330
Santa Fe was one of these places where
the original music was king but you know

0:03:11.330,0:03:15.800
they’re those typical bar gigs were like
you know you have like ten people up

0:03:15.800,0:03:19.430
front that are just totally into it then
the rest it’s like you’re cool like just

0:03:19.430,0:03:26.959
cool wallpaper right now and so as I was
saying in Santa Fe that like the big

0:03:26.959,0:03:30.400
thing was like if you can’t play in
Santa Fe you shouldn’t be playing just

0:03:30.400,0:03:34.820
because it was can’t make it in that
scene well not even make it just play

0:03:34.820,0:03:41.000
because you know if you have it was sort
of crushed your ego that like you might

0:03:41.000,0:03:45.049
not be reaching everybody in that bar
but here was the funny thing if there

0:03:45.049,0:03:50.540
was no music that night nobody would
even be at the bar so even though people

0:03:50.540,0:03:54.799
may not have been you know focused on
the music if there was no music there

0:03:54.799,0:04:00.400
the bar was dead so it was really
interesting so coming from that

0:04:00.400,0:04:05.209
perspective into a place like
Minneapolis were there’s a ton of cover

0:04:05.209,0:04:09.049
bands and stuff like that it was a it’s
a little bit of a culture shock in a

0:04:09.049,0:04:13.250
sense and I got brought out here by
Jonny Lang and his father several years

0:04:13.250,0:04:19.790
back and we we did a record and it was
it was what it was it was a great

0:04:19.790,0:04:24.169
introduction to the scene and to people
who are still you know peers and friends

0:04:24.169,0:04:29.050
to this day that’s how I that’s how it
came out here

0:04:29.050,0:04:36.580
yeah so this became base number two
where you were going to dive into the

0:04:36.580,0:04:42.849
the next stage in your music career and
it sounds like with with working with

0:04:42.849,0:04:46.569
Jonny Lang you were going to end up
touring yeah doing something bigger

0:04:46.569,0:04:52.150
something more than what what Santa Fe
was offering yeah I mean you know I love

0:04:52.150,0:04:57.490
Santa Fe and I’ll always you know be
true to my hometown like I was tell

0:04:57.490,0:05:01.479
people you know it can take the 505 you know it’s thinking out of the

0:05:01.479,0:05:06.069
505 you can’t take the 505 out of me so I’m still that guy I

0:05:06.069,0:05:09.370
represent I mean I got my Saints of Sanity
just watch they’re gone there and that’s

0:05:09.370,0:05:13.810
like you know that’s straight up New
Mexico and you still make it down the

0:05:13.810,0:05:17.319
Santa Fe to play every once in a while
absolutely I mean I still got friends

0:05:17.319,0:05:24.130
and family out there you know so yeah as
far as you know your earlier course

0:05:24.130,0:05:29.979
there was a lot a lot of promises a lot
of stuff like that and unfortunately

0:05:29.979,0:05:34.030
such as life you know sometimes things
just don’t come to fruition so what are

0:05:34.030,0:05:38.469
you gonna do from there well you know
you gotta make up your mind and put one

0:05:38.469,0:05:41.620
foot in front of the other really that’s
it that’s a fantastic segue into the

0:05:41.620,0:05:46.960
next question a lot of what this series
is about is helping new musicians or

0:05:46.960,0:05:51.069
young musicians or artists creative
types that are trying to break into the

0:05:51.069,0:05:56.650
the scene understand what what’s all
involved in the business and for most of

0:05:56.650,0:06:02.110
us the only way we’re learning is when
we fail when we find that moment where

0:06:02.110,0:06:06.550
we’re not exactly where we thought we
were gonna be so I want you to dig into

0:06:06.550,0:06:11.289
your your history a little bit and be
honest and open up the curtain and share

0:06:11.289,0:06:16.210
with us that moment that that didn’t
quite go as planned what was the biggest

0:06:16.210,0:06:21.610
failure in your entrepreneurial venture
you know I don’t know if it’s

0:06:21.610,0:06:29.469
necessarily considered a failure so I’ll
go right back to where we were at that

0:06:29.469,0:06:33.680
particular point in time in my career
the management that that we had and

0:06:33.680,0:06:38.930
and the promises and stuff like that
it’s just you know it was a defining

0:06:38.930,0:06:45.770
moment for me because it was nothing
went the way it was supposed to from

0:06:45.770,0:06:50.690
from the word go nothing went the way it
was supposed to be at all

0:06:50.690,0:06:57.560
however the beauty of it was at the end
of the day music is king so I got this

0:06:57.560,0:07:01.759
great record and I met these wonderful
people and and you know developed these

0:07:01.759,0:07:07.880
these great friendships and and that was
I guess kind of a catalyst to you know

0:07:07.880,0:07:13.430
help me realize that maybe I can do
something like this you know all these

0:07:13.430,0:07:16.190
people will kind of jumped on this
project all these people were very

0:07:16.190,0:07:20.510
supportive of this project and after
things kind of dissolved with I guess my

0:07:20.510,0:07:24.350
representation if you will they all kind
of pulled me aside and they were like

0:07:24.350,0:07:27.289
you know we wanted to tell you a little
bit about this but we figured it was

0:07:27.289,0:07:31.070
best that you learn this on your own
this is a huge lesson for you but we got

0:07:31.070,0:07:36.440
you back and you know to have those
statements come out from people who I’ve

0:07:36.440,0:07:40.220
looked up to and respected for years it
was it was incredible I think at that

0:07:40.220,0:07:44.360
point in time it could have been very
easy to not continue to actually you

0:07:44.360,0:07:47.630
know give up yep give up tuck my tail
between my legs and just and I did

0:07:47.630,0:07:53.230
ultimately end up going back to Santa Fe
due to a family member

0:07:53.230,0:07:56.980
wasn’t doing too well and so I had to
swallow my pride and get back there and

0:07:56.980,0:08:00.700
it was there for a few years when I
decided to come back to Minneapolis I

0:08:00.700,0:08:03.670
mean there was a lot of there were
options on the table of going down to LA

0:08:03.670,0:08:09.070
going out to Nashville or you know going
out select Austin Texas where you know

0:08:09.070,0:08:14.740
old stomping grounds for sure you know
it was not it was jellybean Johnson yeah

0:08:14.740,0:08:21.160
whoo out of Minneapolis here that’s my
evil twin my evil twin and he was like

0:08:21.160,0:08:24.730
man you should just come out here you
know what it’s like out here you know

0:08:24.730,0:08:29.020
who you can work with out here you know
that you know the bread is decent we can

0:08:29.020,0:08:33.790
get paid for what you do and you know
it’s still a hustle but you know you

0:08:33.790,0:08:37.630
know that it’s possible right and I
thought about it not like you know he’s

0:08:37.630,0:08:42.370
absolutely right and there’s something
very special about this scene about its

0:08:42.370,0:08:47.590
players about I mean you know the amount
of industry that’s out here I think it’s

0:08:47.590,0:08:52.540
really deceptive but people like don’t
realize what you know the Twin Cities

0:08:52.540,0:08:55.870
has to offer
yeah you hear about it from time to time

0:08:55.870,0:08:59.290
where you go back and you see like
prints you see the replacements a solo

0:08:59.290,0:09:03.850
sound cats like that at the time and
you’re like well okay I mean even like

0:09:03.850,0:09:08.710
nowadays atmosphere and cats like that
right all this like came from this

0:09:08.710,0:09:13.270
particular place there’s something here
and I think one of the things that I

0:09:13.270,0:09:18.070
found about the Twin Cities I think that
a lot of people that are here are too

0:09:18.070,0:09:23.020
close so you know when I start hearing
like oh man the scene sucks or you know

0:09:23.020,0:09:27.280
there’s not really a scene out here get
them out of the Twin Cities and then

0:09:27.280,0:09:31.900
they start realizing what’s the poison
yeah they start realizing how good they

0:09:31.900,0:09:35.710
have here and they start realizing like
how much talent is out there it’s

0:09:35.710,0:09:39.970
tremendous I’ve been all over the
country and I can honestly tell you that

0:09:39.970,0:09:45.060
some of the best musicians
we’re just people hands down all right

0:09:45.060,0:09:47.790
here
today’s episode is sponsored by patreon

0:09:47.790,0:09:51.329
listen music lovers if you’d loved in
these episodes and you loved them what

0:09:51.329,0:09:54.569
we’re putting out there head over to our
patreon channel where you can support

0:09:54.569,0:10:13.290
each one of these episodes and make sure
that these episodes keep rolling out so

0:10:13.290,0:10:17.670
what did you get here
what did Beckett I got the shrimp and

0:10:17.670,0:10:22.980
asparagus roll it’s right here and the
salmon skin the salmon skin roll and

0:10:22.980,0:10:32.130
then distribute cool and easy for shrimp
tempura roll thank you that’s amazing

0:10:32.130,0:10:38.009
I got the the shrimp tempura like you I
got the salmon salmon roll right here

0:10:38.009,0:10:45.860
and then I got the yellowtail
this is my favorite I get these weekly I

0:10:45.860,0:10:53.620
have to admit that I’m here quickly
tell us about your aha moment when you

0:10:53.620,0:10:58.730
when you made a decision that this was
gonna be a career and that you didn’t

0:10:58.730,0:11:02.660
need any other job you were gonna dive
into it headfirst you knew you could

0:11:02.660,0:11:12.589
make it work it’s really interesting I
remember it was Melissa Etheridge who

0:11:12.589,0:11:19.339
told me when I was kind of coming to
this you know this place in my lively

0:11:19.339,0:11:23.300
you know I knew that music was what I
wanted to do like I told you I was a kid

0:11:23.300,0:11:29.330
didn’t really know how to get in there
and pursue it or do the thing but I had

0:11:29.330,0:11:33.140
this chance encounter with her it was
the most random bizarre thing and she

0:11:33.140,0:11:37.700
was the one that kind of gave me my the
best piece of advice and she kind of she

0:11:37.700,0:11:42.649
asked me she’s like well do you think
you can do this well I don’t know she’s

0:11:42.649,0:11:47.230
like well there’s your first problem
what’s that

0:11:47.230,0:11:52.910
you want this yes more than anything
that’s what I want to do and what she

0:11:52.910,0:11:58.130
has said is like well you know the best
piece of advice is go play play as much

0:11:58.130,0:12:02.750
as you can wherever you can whenever you
can you see and not everybody can be as

0:12:02.750,0:12:07.730
lucky as Ken here and and get you know a
hero on stage to look at you in the face

0:12:07.730,0:12:12.200
and say I believe in you but not only do
I believe in you do you believe in

0:12:12.200,0:12:16.790
yourself and I think that everybody has
to start from that position do you

0:12:16.790,0:12:19.970
believe in yourself do you think that
you can get from point A to point B and

0:12:19.970,0:12:24.980
make it work every single day every
single week right but you got a hustle

0:12:24.980,0:12:29.750
you got a hustle because what you’re
saying is is great but I think you have

0:12:29.750,0:12:32.350
so
all the way up to the stage with Melissa

0:12:32.350,0:12:37.720
Etheridge there’s no way that we all get
that opportunity you had this happen

0:12:37.720,0:12:42.790
chance and but you had been hustling all
the way up to that point and she just

0:12:42.790,0:12:45.820
shined the light on what you were
already doing you know and the funniest

0:12:45.820,0:12:51.190
thing was onion we shared the stage with
her oh gosh about three years ago now I

0:12:51.190,0:12:55.660
want to say but that piece of advice
came you know like I said when I was

0:12:55.660,0:13:02.650
about 20 years old or so 19 20 years old
and it happened in a mall in Santa Fe

0:13:02.650,0:13:06.940
New Mexico it was the weirdest thing
right I saw her I was like you guys

0:13:06.940,0:13:14.910
going huh is that and sure another was
showing and she was playing with toys

0:13:14.910,0:13:21.100
she was like Wayne totally totally it
was it was the coolest thing and and

0:13:21.100,0:13:29.620
what was nice is we just ended up having
a conversation and you know I I have

0:13:29.620,0:13:34.840
this theory about meeting heroes right
there’s a part of there’s a part of me

0:13:34.840,0:13:37.840
in my experience where you just don’t
want to meet new heroes you just don’t

0:13:37.840,0:13:41.790
you just don’t because it may be the
biggest buzzkill but then there’s times

0:13:41.790,0:13:47.650
like that where it serves as you know
something that’s guided me throughout my

0:13:47.650,0:13:52.900
entire career that was that moment you
know so um you know I’m on the fence

0:13:52.900,0:13:57.040
about it but at the same time you know
without that particular moment I don’t

0:13:57.040,0:14:01.240
know if I’d necessarily be here doing
what I’m doing it’s having sushi with

0:14:01.240,0:14:03.610
you so we’re gonna give them to the
lightening around at this point and

0:14:03.610,0:14:07.300
every question that I ask you I just
want you to answer the first thing that

0:14:07.300,0:14:10.150
comes up your head what was holding you
back from becoming a professional

0:14:10.150,0:14:14.400
musician my parents your parents out
there they didn’t want you to be an

0:14:14.400,0:14:21.740
absolutely not
100% no how did you get around doing the

0:14:21.740,0:14:24.740
music thing are they proud of you now I
think my dad is living vicariously

0:14:24.740,0:14:28.550
through me my mom didn’t really know
what to expect I think they just kind of

0:14:28.550,0:14:34.250
thought that it was sex drugs rock and
roll all the time and you know any any

0:14:34.250,0:14:38.780
parent would kind of frown upon that was
their absolutely absolutely

0:14:38.780,0:14:46.280
I couldn’t stop I couldn’t I couldn’t
not do it so I just had to and you know

0:14:46.280,0:14:49.040
just just hope at some point in time
they’d be cool with it there’s the

0:14:49.040,0:14:53.000
addiction right there absolutely yeah it
wasn’t it wasn’t the drug or anything

0:14:53.000,0:14:57.140
like that
it was it was assuming that it wasn’t

0:14:57.140,0:15:01.370
your parents maybe it was what who gave
you the best piece of advice and what

0:15:01.370,0:15:06.560
was it I think it was like we spoke
about the Melissa Etheridge at that

0:15:06.560,0:15:11.660
point in time the other one that I which
is kind of the same piece of advice is

0:15:11.660,0:15:18.260
Jeff Dooley and Jeff was just gonna soon
love doing this you know you know the

0:15:18.260,0:15:22.460
addiction you know you know what you
know you know what it’s all about what

0:15:22.460,0:15:25.580
are you gonna do
pursue Brett you’ve got to keep on going

0:15:25.580,0:15:30.470
right go just go
what’s a personal habit that contributes

0:15:30.470,0:15:37.410
to your success daily
I think it’s a work ethic I am a

0:15:37.410,0:15:44.610
self-admitted work at home I want to
further my career and I know that it

0:15:44.610,0:15:50.010
just it takes dedication it takes hard
work you know so I think it’s just every

0:15:50.010,0:15:54.540
day every day
how can you further your career between

0:15:54.540,0:16:00.839
business in between you know the craft
itself trying to find time to fit that

0:16:00.839,0:16:07.080
all in and give the best of what you got
work ethic that’s the truth go to bed at

0:16:07.080,0:16:12.330
1:00 and wake up at 3:00 and get it all
done and because those are the people

0:16:12.330,0:16:15.450
that succeed and you never see that side
of it but I mean that the people that

0:16:15.450,0:16:20.220
work the most the hardest put the most
effort into a foot produce the most

0:16:20.220,0:16:25.560
amount of music for us so the ones that
are succeeded it’s so easy to be an

0:16:25.560,0:16:32.830
artist
was hard as to be a successful right so

0:16:32.830,0:16:37.270
swords where’s the lines that define you
know what what that is exactly or is

0:16:37.270,0:16:42.339
that dichotomy yeah so yeah you know it
is what it is and if you want to be

0:16:42.339,0:16:46.270
successful with your art you’ve got to
put any time you got move yep yeah

0:16:46.270,0:16:51.520
what do you currently listening to oh my
goodness I can’t stop listen to it

0:16:51.520,0:16:57.310
brand-new Alana Davis record which is
not done I’ve been recording I’ve been

0:16:57.310,0:17:02.080
recording with her and that’s all I’ve
been listening to her just new mixes and

0:17:02.080,0:17:07.089
you know this is an artist that I’ve
admired for years and this is her first

0:17:07.089,0:17:12.010
record and what 13 years or something
like that okay this is her gonna come

0:17:12.010,0:17:16.600
back and it’s awesome because you know I
get a chance to work with one of my

0:17:16.600,0:17:21.670
heroes get a chance to step outside of
the box as far as yeah yeah musical

0:17:21.670,0:17:27.339
creativity and I get to share you know
in this process with some amazing photos

0:17:27.339,0:17:31.179
it’s like Bates do it from the read
books you’re Paul pesto Stuart Cove

0:17:31.179,0:17:37.179
that’s like that it’s like there you go
I’ll take that all day long and so when

0:17:37.179,0:17:40.809
is the album coming up early next year
so just to get that straight you’re

0:17:40.809,0:17:45.820
actually producing the album right there
I am not necessary producing I’m record

0:17:45.820,0:17:49.690
I’m playing a lot of guitars you’re
playing guitar yeah yeah I can’t wait

0:17:49.690,0:17:53.860
for it to come out let us know we’ll put
a link in the description so that you

0:17:53.860,0:17:56.170
can pick it up absolutely I’d love to
hear that

0:17:56.170,0:18:00.179
what’s a book or an online resource that
you would recommend to our viewers

0:18:00.179,0:18:05.280
Donald passed on this book it’s just
essentially the Bible has been through

0:18:05.280,0:18:09.970
you know Josh the last 25 30 acres I
think it’s called everything you need to

0:18:09.970,0:18:15.429
know about the music business yeah and
that’s just you know his revisions are

0:18:15.429,0:18:20.590
spot-on you know and we’re not living in
the same day and age you know when he

0:18:20.590,0:18:25.150
when he wrote this book originally and
just to see its progression to see how

0:18:25.150,0:18:29.080
things have changed that’s such an easy
way to stay on top of things but sure

0:18:29.080,0:18:34.840
how can we connect with you how can we
find you ken Valdez calm is easy way to

0:18:34.840,0:18:37.810
find me on the space work and the
tweeters and those stuff like that but

0:18:37.810,0:18:44.350
you know there’s links to it on my
website so Ken Valdez oh you can always

0:18:44.350,0:18:49.750
check out ken anywhere you get music
Spotify iTunes Rhapsody Google you can

0:18:49.750,0:18:54.340
always download his albums check out Ken
Valdez at Kendall Dez calm can you my

0:18:54.340,0:18:57.220
friend are a badass and I appreciate you
hanging out with us today

0:18:57.220,0:19:01.210
I’m Bruce and eats with badass peeps if
you get an opportunity to hang out with

0:19:01.210,0:19:04.600
Ken or check out one of his shows I
highly recommend that you get out to it

0:19:04.600,0:19:10.330
check out 10 at Ken Valdez calm we’ll
see on another episode of bruising eats

0:19:10.330,0:19:13.350
with badass peace

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Brews & Eats
the authorBrews & Eats
Producer of shows Jud Hailey
Brews & Eats is the brain child of Musician/Video Producer Jud Hailey. Starting with his closest friends in the industry; Jud began to hone his craft and began to meander through industries asking the same questions. The Idea behind asking the experts the same questions is to begin to pull together themes of successful people.

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