Meet Our Members!
Kiley Barwick was raised on a farm halfway between the towns of Alma and Holdrege, Nebraska. When Kiley wasn't in school, she was helping her dad around the farm, working cattle, fixing fence and taking care of the crops. She loved the farm and all that went with it, but it wasn't long until she discovered a love for something else; music. At a young age, Kiley's parents could tell that she had musical talent because she was constantly tapping her fingers and stomping her feet, keeping beat with any song she heard. Kiley's mother had a guitar in the house that mostly just sat around, and even though she would discourage Kiley from messing with it, Kiley just couldn't leave it alone. Even though she had no idea how to play, she was often found just sitting with the guitar on her lap.
Kiley also spent a lot of time with her great-grandparents during her childhood. Her great-grandmother also noticed her musical talent early on and decided to teach her a couple of songs Kiley, being only 3 years old at the time, couldn't read music so she learned to sing by ear. Her great-grandma would help her match pitches on her piano and once Kiley had the songs learned, she started taking her around to several different nursing homes for her to sing for the residents living there.
In 5th grade, Kiley started playing percussion in band class and learned quickly how much she loved playing the drums. Her band teacher decided to show her a couple beats to play on the drum set one day, and she to her own surprise. she was able to pick it up fairly easily. Her dad then bought her own very own drum set for Christmas during her 7th grade year of school and she started teaching herself how to play by playing along to songs on the radio. By her 8th grade year, she was asked to play in a Rock'nRoll band with 3 of her friends from school. It was then that Kiley got her first taste of performing professionally, played for private parties, Boy Scouting events, one of their biggest performances being for a Tri-City Storm Hockey game! Kiley also continued her music in school, playing the drum set for pep and jazz band in high school as well as singing in their high school choir and jazz choir.
Although Kiley liked playing the old Rock'n'Roll music, classic country music has always been her favorite. While helping her dad on the farm, they would listen to country music on KRVN radio and her dad would often coax her into singing along. To quench her thirst for playing country music, Kiley started playing for as many country jam sessions as she could and she even found herself playing drums with her church band. This group also hosted a country jam once a month and it was there that she formally met Blaine Garrelts, who had joined the jam session with his steel guitar. He soon started playing in the gospel band as well and this was where he and Kiley first started working together.
In 2015, Kiley's dad bought her her first acoustic guitar for Christmas and she showed her new prized possession to Blaine the first chance she got. Kiley told Blaine that she had no idea how to play the guitar, but she was bound and determined to learn and asked Blaine if he wouldn't mind giving her lessons. Blaine, being an accomplished guitar player himself, started showing Kiley some of what he knew whenever their band was performing somewhere. It wasn't long until she realized how much she loved playing guitar and singing. One day, she came to Blaine with the idea of starting their own duo band and to her surprise, Blaine liked the idea. They then named the duo "Kiley & Company" and the rest, as they say, is history!
Blaine Garrelts was born and raised on a farm north of Brady, Nebraska. His mother and father were both musical; his mother sang and his dad played accordion in several local country western bands. Blaine started playing music at the age of 3 years old. Blaine had wanted to learn how to play the guitar but because he was so young and small at the time, his started out with playing the ukulele in his dad's band, standing beside him and chording along to each song they played.
One fun fact about Blaine is that even to this day, he cannot read sheet music, but that doesn't make him any less of a talented musician. Blaine has alway been a self taught musician, playing every song by ear. Once he found something that sounded like a chord, he would run to his dad and ask him what note he was playing. His dad would then grab his accordion, match his pitch and tell him what chord he had found. Blaine chalked that chord up in his mind and that was how he learned how to play every.
By the age of 4, Blaine moved up to the tenor guitar and quickly taught himself how to play that instrument as well. Blaine even won a competition with his tenor guitar where he got to perform the song"Let Me Go, Lover" live on KRVN radio at the age of 5!
Blaine moved on to playing a full size guitar by the time he was 13 years old and in school, Blaine started his very own band a year later playing Rock'n'Roll music and they played for street dances and high school dances in the area. He often says that "Rock'n'Roll was okay, but Country Music has always been where my heart is."
Blaine soon found himself playing in several country bands in the area, and after he graduated high school and moved to Salt Lake City, UT he enrolled in barber college and played music to support himself and his family. After moving to Fort Collins, CO and starting his own hay hauling business, the music still never stopped. He and his best friend Tommy played nearly 6 nights a week for several years together with their band throughout the entire front range of Colorado.
After Blaine bought the family farm and moved back to Nebraska, he was burnt out to say the least. He took several long breaks from playing music, but as any true musician would know, you can never give up playing music entirely. He eventually taught himself how to play the steel guitar and has continued his music playing in several bands throughout Nebraska over the past 40 years.
Kiley & Company
Blaine and Kiley's paths had crossed several times while they were both performing in various country jam sessions throughout Nebraska. They became good friends after they started working together in a gospel band in 2012. Kiley, who played drums at the time, didn't sing all that much but after Blaine heard her singing back stage one night at one of the gospel shows they were performing in, he decided right then and there that Kiley needed to be singing more. Eventually, Blaine asked Kiley to join his band and encouraged her to start learning to sing as many country songs as she could.
Blaine and Kiley have a strong love for music, one that started at a young age for both of them. This combined love for music made them a great pair and Blaine started promoting Kiley as much as he could. He then got her into another band he worked for in Norfolk, Nebraska and introduced her to all of the people and musicians he played with throughout southern Texas in the winter time.
Throughout their traveling to various gigs and in their spare time Blaine learned of Kiley's dream of learning how to play the guitar. After she got herself a guitar, Blaine started teaching her a little bit of what he knew and over time, Kiley picked up on it. Even though she still has a lot to learn, Kiley is happy to be able to say she can play an instrument that she had always dreamed of playing.
In 2015, Blaine played a song for Kiley that he had wrote several decades ago. The song titled "Sweetness" didn't have lyrics to it yet, but Blaine, who knew Kiley wrote song lyrics, asked her to come up with something. Kiley, who couldn't get the song out of her head, came up with lyrics that satisfied both her and Blaine, thus giving them their first co-written song that they recorded in 2016.
Blaine taught Kiley how to do almost everything that went along with the music business, from setting up sound equipment, working the crowd and booking gigs. After starting Kiley & Company in 2016, Kiley took over all of the booking and advertising to give Blaine a break from all of the leg work that music involves. To this day, the duo continues to enjoy working together, writing songs and playing the classic country music they know and love and hope to keep playing music together as long as they can!