While local southern-rock/country favorite Kanan Road has been going strong for a little more than three years, this trio of brothers has been playing music together for as long as they can remember.
The Cox brothers, Kanan, Kyle and Kory, said their father had a band as they were growing up. He taught them all how to play his six-string, and after that, they were hooked. As for their influence, that is courtesy of their father as well.
"Our dad had a lot of classic rock,” said Kanan Cox, 29. “We grew up listening to stuff like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bad Company and The Outlaws.”
The trio also discovered country artists like Travis Tritt, Desert Rose Band and Jackson Brown, and insist they have all had an influence shaping the band's sound, which they call “California Country”.
“We love the classic country and try to mix it with the modern country of today,” said Kyle Cox. “[While] rock is really our base, we honed our sound and realized country music really allows us to harmonize and create a sound that incorporates and enhances each of our talents.”
Originally from Palmdale, Calif., the Cox family moved to the Murrieta/Winchester area in 2001. The youngest, Kory, 27, graduated from Murrieta Valley High School and Kyle, 28, attended Mt. San Jacinto College in Menifee.
In the past 10 years, efforts to form a successful band have included a few band different members, a name change and a four-year separation when Kory enlisted in the Marines.
“Kanan and I still played together,” Kyle said. “When Kory came back, we had all matured our skills enough to really go for it.”
Go for it they did.
Named after Kanan Dume Road in Malibu, the band name is a tribute to their father.
“Our dad used to drive that road when he went surfing,” said Kanan, who is also named after the road and what it represents. “When we go as a family, we still drive the same road.”
“There’s a tunnel you have to go through and my dad always honked the horn three times for good luck,” Kory said. “I still do when we go.”
All three agree the band name represents the strong family ties they share.
Since Kory’s return, they have written more than 40 original songs and recorded several albums, including their most recent release entitled “Brothers.”
“In the past three years we went from having four gigs a year to this year having about 60,” Kanan said.
In those three years they have also traveled the country, opening for some big names, including Josh Gracin and Doublewide. They also tout opening for The Band Perry, which made it big with its smash hit, “If I Die Young."
This hasn’t been an easy feat, though. Recording, writing, booking shows and rehearsals all are done while the three maintain full-time day jobs. Kanan is married with three small children, so all understand the significance of family support.
"It is a big commitment-our passion," Kanan said. "We are so lucky that our families are so supportive."
Blending guitar and their knack for harmonizing, Kanan Road can be likened to the Zac Brown Band or Rascal Flatts, however its rock edge and brotherly bond gives it a unique sound.
“We try to write songs that encompass what we feel and what others might be feeling," Kyle said. “Not everyone has to relate, but we hope they do, or enjoy them anyway.”
“The harmonies we create are only made with years of practice,” Kanan said. “We take this seriously and work hard; we like to think it comes across in our music."
The brothers rehearse two to three nights a week, writing new songs and perfecting established ones.
“We are our own worst critic,” Kory said. “We feel if you can’t do it live, don’t do it at all.”
Kanan Road is scheduled to play a free show July 6 at . For more information, a list of tour dates and samples of their music, visit their website at KananRoadband.com.