About TRUK

The band TRUK was put together on a dare. Ty and Kenny had been playing guitar together on the Porch Vortex for a couple of years. Ty knew three chords and was relieved to find someone who knew three different chords. With six chords between them, they started playing music.  Each party they were attending together was preceded by a quick message “you bringing a guitar?” This began the entertaining of friends at parties (whether they wanted to hear or not). Their good friend Chris Lawver, former drummer of metal band Black Cloud Syndrome, was looking for an opener for a BCS show and Ty’s wife, Mish, suggested that he and Kenny open the show. Chris thought it was a brilliant idea. It didn’t matter to him that they weren’t even a band or that these were two hicks opening a metal show. Details. What could possibly go wrong? They had a gig, but no name. Several ideas were thrown around but eventually Kenny suggested TRUK, an acronym of their initials (Ty Richards Utley Kenneth). So TRUK was officially open for business. Print the shirts and letterhead. Well, for one show at least. After performing that one show for BCS, TRUK was asked to play again opening for Clark Manson, and then W.O Wrights asked them to host a weekly open mic.  From there the gigs kept coming from W.O. Wrights, The Tumbleweed Connection, Rip Rap Roadhouse and JC’s Lounge. They got their first big break opening for Chris Knight at Oddbody’s and can be found playing out all over the Dayton area. They are currently working on their first CD due out next year. TRUK has a loyal following of the best family, friends and fans anyone could ask for and none of this would be possible without their support. TRUK Yeah!

Ty Richards

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Ty grew up in a small town in southwest Missouri surrounded by music from both parents. His dad, Gary, a wonderful songwriter and mom, Sherry, a great singer always had an eclectic selection of music playing in the house. The record player and 8 track was playing Merle Haggard, Eagles, Jim Croce, Kris Kristopherson, Carly Simon, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, John Denver, Beach Boys, James Taylor, Otis Redding, Elvis and Roger Whittaker. Ty, however, was a rocker and leaned more towards the heavy metal side: Ozzy, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Scorpions, KISS, Bon Jovi, and Tesla were early influences.

Most family gatherings involved picking and singing in the living room and he and his sister, Tia, were always invited to sing “their songs”. His dad tried to get him to play guitar a few times, but the metal-head in him just didn’t want anything to do with acoustic guitar. That is, until he saw Travis Tritt play the song “Anymore” live on TV. Ty was no stranger to country; he knew every word to every Merle Haggard song ever done, thanks to his dad, but nothing moved him quite like Metallica and Pantera. That is, not until seeing Travis playing all alone, no band, and just a guitar. At that moment he knew that this was going to be a part of his life forever. To quote Todd Snider “he thought, $h!t, I could do that”.

Ty went off to college to study fine art, but it never really took. Gulf war one started and not knowing what he was doing in college decided to enlist in the military and fight the war. He spent his first six years as an AMMO troop, met his wife and traveled Europe. He liked the Air Force enough to make it a career and cross trained into Bioenvironmental engineering, working in health physics. The Air Force took him all around the world and finally from Texas to Ohio. After 21 years, he retired as a Master Sergeant. During his twenty-plus years, he never stopped playing music. Todd Snider, Garth Brooks, Chris LeDeoux, Darrius Rucker, and Cross Canadian Ragweed became later influences and odds are, if you are on the Porch Vortex you will hear all of these artists.  He now resides in Ohio in peaceful bliss with his wife, daughters and dogs and can be found playing out in the Dayton, OH area with Kenny, representing the first two letters of TRUK.

 

Kenny Utley

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Kenny grew up an Air Force “Brat,” living in Arkansas, South Carolina, and Texas. Living in Texas for the majority of his life he considers Texas home. From an early age, Kenny fell captive to the music bug; sneaking into his grandfather’s closet to pull out his guitar and strum it. At the age of 14, he received his first guitar as a Christmas present, and began learning how to play from his grandfather. Poppy, as he called his grandfather, taught him to play a mix of songs from artist like: Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Johnny Horton, Hank Williams Sr., and Buck Owens. A year and a half later his grandfather passed and music wasn’t the same for Kenny.

In high school, he discovered a friend played guitar and began playing again. While he always kept country music in his catalog, he began to expand his musical taste to bands like: Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Eagles, Jackson Browne, and Bob Dylan. After graduating high school, he left the sprawling metropolis of Chillicothe, TX, for the big city lights of Lubbock, TX. Here he lived with several high school classmates that were also musicians. He attended South Plains College in Levelland, TX, studying commercial music and bluegrass. Moving around so much in his younger years put the traveling bug in his bones and he left school and moved to San Antonio.

While in San Antonio, he took a job working as a government contractor and has been doing it since then. The base he was working at in San Antonio was closed, and he followed the operations north to Dayton, OH. This is where he currently resides with his sanity, Nicole and his mini-me, Blake. He can be found playing around the Dayton area at various venues with Ty, putting the UK in TRUK.