Starting as a twosome in a local bar in September 1996, Steve Ketchen and fellow friend and musician Mikey McCallum performed every Tuesday at Graffiti's, a local bar in Toronto's Kensington Market. Covering the songs made famous by Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, and Hank Williams, the duo's two-year weekly stint grew in popularity and in fans. Eventually, drummer Sean Dignan was added to the band. Over the course of the two years, Ketchen began developing his own material to complement the traditional standards the band performed. In December 2000, the band entered the studio to record its debut self-titled album. The album Steve Ketchen & the Kensington Hillbillys was released in 2001 and received praise for its old country & western feeling. The band has performed throughout Ontario and features members of Blue Rodeo. The group has performed at both Canadian Music Week and the North by Northeast Festival.
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