Nick Kinsey is a Drummer, Producer, Songwriter and Multi-Instrumentalist based out of Brooklyn New York. He is a founding member of critically acclaimed folk-rock group Elvis Perkins in Dearland and songwriter behind KINSEY. Deeply indebted to his mentors (Billy Martin, Bob Moses) and heroes (Levon Helm, Ringo, Brian Blade, Jim Keltner) he has gained a reputation for an eclectic and naturally tasteful approach to drumming. His resume as a drummer/percussionist includes studio work and performance with a wide range of artists including A.C. Newman, Cold War Kids, Marco Benevento, Kevin Morby, Nick Murphy, Elvis Perkins, AA Bondy, The Felice Brothers, Sam Cohen, Himalayas, Terribly Yours, The Dough Rollers, The Woes, Dave Harrington and many others.
His self-recorded and produced debut as KINSEY, "My Loneliest Debut", was released in November of 2015 and was followed by tours in Europe and the US supporting Elvis Perkins and Cold War Kids. KINSEY music can be heard here. Much of 2016 was spent in his studio The Chicken Shack recording, producing and mixing various projects, as well as on stage as KINSEY and behind the drum kit with a wide range of artists.
His musical life began early. After studying clarinet and piano as a child, Nick Kinsey met and began studying drums with his mentor Billy Martin (Medeski, Martin & Wood) at 17. In 2001 he moved to Providence Rhode Island to study ethnomusicology at Brown University, where he studied with Paul Mason and Dave Zinno and made frequent trips to Boston to study with jazz drumming legends Bob Gullotti and Bob Moses. In 2004 he lived in Havana, Cuba where he studied with a handful of the city’s percussion masters.
In 2005, he joined his friends Elvis Perkins, Brigham Brough and Wyndham Boylan-Garnett to form Elvis Perkins in Dearland. After a period of creative gestation living in a cabin in North Smithfield, RI the quartet was signed by XL Recordings and spent two years touring internationally in support of Elvis’s debut “Ash Wednesday,” playing festivals such as Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Newport Folk Festival and The Late Show with David Letterman. The band followed up that record with 2009’s self-titled “Elvis Perkins in Dearland” and “The Doomsday EP,” and again hit the touring and festival circuit. Halloween of 2009 they performed at Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble, the home of Nick’s musical hero.
Meanwhile Nick was staying busy outside the band in and out of the studio with like-minded Hudson Valley musicians A.A. Bondy and the Felice Brothers.
During these heavy touring years, Nick and his Dearland bandmates doubled as a horn section, known as "Dearland Horns" and frequently joined some of indie rock's most celebrated bands including Bon Iver, My Morning Jacket, Dr. Dog, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Okkervil River and others.
After some time off the road and a move back to his hometown of New York City, Nick formed Diamond Doves, along with his Dearland bandmates Brigham and Wyndham, as an outlet for their writing and recording experiments outside the more acoustic folk styles of their work with Elvis. They released a handful of singles and EPs beginning in 2010. Their full length debut, “Eat Your Heart Out,” was released in January of 2013. Listen here.
In the following years Nick has continued to build a unique role in the indie rock community as a drummer, engineer, producer studio owner and artist.