While they have been playing together professionally for almost 2 years, Joe “Slam” Grover, Brett “Hi-Hat” Hollingsworth, Kevin Kinne and Peggy “Cash” Kinne (Potter) officially created MONTANA SUN in early 2017 and is a collaboration between two established groups KACTUS JACK and KINNE&CASH. KACTUS JACK was founded by current band drummer Brett Hollingsworth and had played regionally in the area for many years.
As things often are, their collaboration was “serendipity.” Brett Hollingsworth’s wife Chris, was professionally associated with Peggy Potter through their flower shop The Eagle’s Nest in Columbus, MT. Through a course of conversations, KINNE&CASH needed a fill in drummer for an upcoming gig in Red Lodge and Brett’s name came up as a possibility and the rest is history.
Each member brings various experience, personality and creativity to the bands performance and “like a fine blended whiskey” has aged, not to say perfection, but a finely crafted entity that doesn’t look to cover a song verbatim but looks to make it their own, giving a new twist and feel to a forgotten classic. Not unheard of, but certainly unusual, each band member sings and has a delivery style all their own playing off each others harmonies and background vocals.
Their originals, soon to be available for sale, are certainly entertaining but also offers an insight to what makes this band different and sets them apart from other local bands. Their shows are high energy, and a roller coaster ride of original songs, 60’s thru new millennium, classic rock and country covers.
BRETT “HI-HAT” HOLLINGSWORTH / DRUMS-VOCALS
Brett first came on to the Montana music scene in Great Falls, MT (1980) with the River City Band. But then, in 1981-86 was half of the Marge and Brett Duo, a popular lounge act in Havre, MT.
In 1987 he broke into the Billings music scene, and, after a couple of years playing with two local bands, landed a full-time job as the drummer for popular country touring band The Chosen Few until the end of 1992, when he started his own band Kactus Jack.
After 2 strong years of Kactus Jack, he suffered burnout and went on a hiatus, which ended up lasting the next 11 years. In 2006, re-formed Kactus Jack in Columbus, MT, which became very popular in the region, with the last couple of years, also playing with Kinne & Cash from Red Lodge, MT.
How many drummers do you know that sing? Now, how many of those sing really well while playing drums. Brett is that kind of musician. When Brett performs, it is clear that he loves to rock; very fun to watch!
JOE “SLAM” GROVER / GUITAR-BASS-VOCALS
Joe “Slam” Grover, originally from Chicopee, MASS, grew up listening to rock music and fell in love with bands such as Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, ACDC, Ted Nugent, and Aerosmith, just to name a few. He started playing guitar at age seventeen. Soon after he was playing in garage bands entertaining at local parties and high school dances.
After turning twenty, he moved to Southern California and was soon playing in solid cover bands throughout the 80’s and 90’s. Former bands THE CATCH, SLAM and the KGB, and OZARK THUNDER achieved regional success.
As lead guitarist and one of the founding members of MONTANA SUN, Slam brings experience, a solid rock venue such as LaGrange, LA Woman, Bang A Gong, Foxey Lady, Born to Be Wild and Glycerin as well as a positive and creative energy to their performances and original songs recently co-writing with Peggy “Cash” Kinne the new bands’ namesake song Montana Sun and Wasted.
KEVIN KINNE / GUITAR-BASS-VOCALS
Not born but primarily raised in Billings, MT, Kevin Kinne is an accomplished skier & snowboarder. Considered a local in Red Lodge, MT, most people know him from The Ski Station, which he opened in Red Lodge in 1985 and was one of the first shops to offer snowboards.
While snowboarding is his first of many passions, he is self-taught guitarist, starting to play when he was in high school and belonged to the garage band Big Shoes, playing local high school dances and events.
His professional music career, unbeknownst to him, was to really begin in 2009, when he met his now wife Peggy Potter and formed KINNE&CASH playing local venues such as The Snow Creek, The Pollard, The Snag, Tiny’s Tavern, Shooters, The Palace, Elk’s Lodge, 307 Bar & Grill and The Chamberlin Hotel.
While playing guitar was his first musical calling, vocals are where he excels, bringing back the power rock ballads such as Simple Man, Can’t You See, House of the Rising Sun, Fortunate Sun and Knocking on Heavens Door. Kevin has also become a solid bass player and the bands sound engineer.
PEGGY “CASH” KINNE / GUITAR-BASS-VOCALS
Originally from Detroit, MI area, Peggy moved to Cody, WY 1993, and Red Lodge, MT in 2010. She started singing with the radio when she was three years old. Started playing guitar at ten and took up drums in Jr. High through High School.
“To my mother’s surprise and chagrin, at only three+ years old, I had a very early ability to remember the lyrics to current radio hits such Don’t Take Your Guns to Town, Makin’ Love in the Chevy Van & I Shot the Sheriff.
20 years later, I played my first gig for pay when I was twenty three, had my first band Rough Country in 1992 and opened for Bobby Bear at a local music summer fest soon after.
Having been in seven bands over the course of 24+ years, most recently KINNE&CASH with husband Kevin Kinne, this newest collaboration with KACTUS JACK to form MONTANA SUN, has proven to be the most positive, original and creative.
“I started writing my own songs off and on when I was 12. When I started playing music with my husband Kevin Kinne in 2009, and with his background in rock n roll, I started writing music again. My originals, which number about 30+ are songs with deep roots, underlying meanings and very personal in some way. Yet, they appeal to a broad group or cause. Titles include Cement Shoes, Chasing Demons, It Ain’t Right and most recently co-writing with Joe “Slam” Grover the new bands’ namesake song Montana Sun and Wasted.
I love writing and performing. My favorite thing about performing is the rush I get when things just come together. I have performed many years as a solo act but I much prefer to perform with other musicians. Putting a group together is not an easy task, the group has to gel musically, personally and professionally and that is rare. But, when it happens, as it has happened with MONTANA SUN, it is amazing-honestly the best adrenaline rush ever.”