CARLSBAD — From a sleepy coastal town, he was a man musicians, fans and critics agreed was a legendary fixture in the music industry.
Carlsbad native Tony Kinman, one of the creators of “cowpunk,” died May 4 after a battle with cancer, his brother Chip Kinman announced on his Facebook page last week.
Chip Kinman could not be reached for comment.
The duo started their music career in the 1970s and revolutionized the music landscape when in the 1980s the two moved to Austin, Texas, and blended punk and country to create Americana, according to LA Weekly.
The Kinmans formed Rank and File and brought a more fast-paced version of country to its fans and the band’s inaugural album, “Rank and File,” was a commercial and critical success, winning numerous country album of the year awards. An outpouring of condolences and obituaries have been delivered through social media to the Kinman family.
In addition to forming Rank and File, the Kinmans also created Dils, Cowboy Nation and Ford Madox Ford. Chip and Tony Kinman began their punk career in San Diego and Los Angeles with Dils before moving to Texas and reinventing music.
After lighting the country-punk scene on fire, the brother formed Blackbird, a techno-metal group, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“Such was the Kinmans’ stature in the history of Southern California music that organizers of the Stagecoach country music festival in Indio booked Cowboy Nation for the inaugural edition of that event when they decided in 2007 to spin off a country cousin to the annual Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival,” the Times wrote.
Tony Kinman is survived by his brother and wife, Kristie.
A special thanks to Donna Balancia. Balancia is a former Carlsbad resident and journalist with The Oceanside Blade-Tribune and the Escondido Times-Advocate. She produces the LA-based online music magazine CaliforniaRocker.com