Ken Sederdahl was working at a convenience store in the Eureka, Mont., area when a customer walked in and changed his life.
The customer had a guitar, and he offered it in trade for the motorcycle Sederdahl had parked out front.
At first, Sederdahl, who was then about 23 or 24, was hesitant. He liked music but was no guitarist.
It turned out, though, that the instrument was worth more than the bike, so Sederdahl agreed.
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The guitar was for a right-hander, and Sederdahl is a leftie. But the customer ended up switching around the strings, and he taught Sederdahl how to play the opening lick of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Sweet Home Alabama.
And that was it, said Sederdahl, who’s now 52. “I’ve been playing ever since.”
Sederdahl will bring his guitar skills to the Tri-Cities on April 4. His progressive blues-rock group, Kenny James Miller Band, plays a 9 p.m. show at Emerald of Siam in Richland. Cover is $5.
Sederdahl plays lead guitar and handles vocals and songwriting duties.
He’s joined by Mark Miller on drums and Mark Cornett on bass.
The Montana-based group plays shows around the Northwest. In 2012, it was named “Best New Blues Band” by the Inland Empire Blues Society in Spokane. Cornett took “Best Blues Bassist” honors from the group in 2012 and 2013.
Cornett replaced former bassist Jimmy Groom — one of the band’s namesakes.
Sederdahl called the group a “really hard-hitting power trio” with a sound along the lines of Cream, Robin Trower and Jimi Hendrix.
“Everything has a real hard-rocking edge to it, even if it’s a blues song,” he said, noting the group thrives on spontaneity — on one night, a song might last four minutes. On another, it could stretch out as band members play off each other and the crowd.
The band has an album, Revelator, along with some other music awaiting release.
The group is set to be featured on an upcoming episode of the Montana PBS show 11th & Grant.
Kenny James Miller Band recently played a show in Kennewick, and Sederdahl said he looks forward to the return trip to the Tri-Cities. He loves playing live music, he said, playing the instrument he’s loved since that first Lynyrd Skynyrd lick.
“It’s just a good energy,” Sederdahl said.
Emerald of Siam is at 1314 Jadwin Ave.
More information: www.kennyjamesmiller.com.