COLUMBIA – Kyle Pudenz first picked up a violin at the age of eight. His grandfather gave him a half-size violin as a present to introduce Pudenz to the world of music, a world he is well acquainted with.
“(My grandfather) plays just about every instrument known to man,” said Pudenz, now 16 and a junior at Rock Bridge High School.
He has joined up with songwriter Brad Cunningham, who is a decade older. The two have played together for six months. Their music has developed a fan base that reaches into Nebraska and as far as Georgia.
At 7 p.m. Friday, the duo will perform at Cooper’s Landing with the backup band, The Other Wives: drummer Drake Detwiler, lead guitarist Toby Runyon and bassist Parker Siddall.
Their repertoire includes covers and originals. “I call it tin foil because it’s the opposite of heavy metal,” Pudenz said about their genre.
Their sound is clean even when they play with the back-up band.
“My main goal is always to be as tight as we can,” Cunningham said. Pudenz added that his goal is to have fun.
Cunningham didn’t always perform with the violinist. Pudenz checked out the band at The Blue Note before he agreed to play with them.
Fortunately, Cunningham was a winner.
“It’s a unique combo,” he said about his partnership with Pudenz.
Cunningham grew up in Ashland. He attended Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he received a degree in entrepreneurship. He started playing guitar when he was 20 and has not put it down since. Cunningham returned to Missouri and now lives and performs in Columbia.
Pudenz is a member of the 2009 Missouri All State Orchestra, has played with the Missouri Youth Orchestra Chamber Players and is most proud of his time with the Missouri Symphony Orchestra this summer. At 16, he has had considerable performance experience.
Cunningham and Pudenz expect to play a show in Chicago with The Other Wives soon, which would be their farthest destination to date.
Here is an example of their musicianship: