Country singer is 
bidding for stardom

NBEN 12-09-12 BE 15 Belper musician Kev Maxwell is competing in open mic 201.
NBEN 12-09-12 BE 15 Belper musician Kev Maxwell is competing in open mic 201.

A Belper singer, who once performed alongside Johnny Cash, is hoping to reach the 
final rounds of a national 
talent competition.

Guitar playing Kevin Maxwell is through to the regional finals of Open Mic UK 2012, a competition which launched pop starlet Birdy’s career last year.

The smooth-voiced Bargate Road 47-year-old who is a full-time carer for his partner Kelly, wowed judges at his first audition in Sheffield a fortnight ago and is now due to perform again on September 30, at the City Hall there.

He said: “I’m really excited about it – it’s a big competition and there’s a recording contract for the winner.

“There are plenty of talent scouts there and it’s all being televised.”

Kevin has been performing on the pub circuit for more than 20 years playing his beloved country music by idols such as Willie Nelson.

The former carpet fitter once played alongside Nelson when he did occasional work as a session musician.

He also took to the stage on guitars with the man in black himself, Johnny Cash, at De Montfort Hall in Leicester, back in.

But Kevin has only begun to pursue talent competitions in the past year, saying his music needed a ‘new direction’.

He previously auditioned for BBC One Saturday night show The Voice - but sadly did not make it through to the second round.

However Kevin thinks Open Mic UK 2012 is a competition more suited to his talents.

“I’m hoping to do quite well,” he said. “When I sung the judges were impressed.

“I would like to think I could win it, but in reality I probably won’t.

“I would like to at least get noticed a bit!”

Kevin said at present he gigs ‘when he can’ as he cares for partner Kelly, who has Bell’s Palsy. He is due top play at the White Swan in Market Place, Belper, tomorrow, September 20.