A few years ago, Kevin Abernathy got a big surprise when he saw Derek Senter, one of the hosts of WUTK’s Friday night show the Funhouse, singing a bunch of classic-rock covers.
“Manning Jenkins’ band Finkelsteen did the AC/DC record Highway to Hell at the Preservation Pub a couple of years ago, and, much to my surprise, Derek was the singer,” the leader of local rock trio the Kevin Abernathy Band writes in a recent e-mail exchange. “Everyone was totally blown away. I had no idea he had a set of pipes like that—or could even sing, for that matter.”
Abernathy was impressed, but he just filed the knowledge away until he and Senter ran into each other in 2013 while they were picking up their kids from school. Senter, an unabashed advocate of various strains of hard rock and punk on his radio show, asked Abernathy to play guitar in a punk tribute show with him and a few other local musicians.
“He asked me a couple more times about the punk thing (he was very gung-ho) and at this point my schedule had slowed, so eventually I said, why the hell not? Sounds like fun,” Abernathy says. “Plus, all I have to do is play guitar. … Derek soon recruited Manning on guitar, who I’ve known since we were young long-haired rockers, and I instantly knew he and I could make some serious guitar noise together. He also got Brad Henderson and Vance Hillard of the High Score on board, and any doings with those guys is always a blast.”
The group will perform a one-off gig at Pilot Light under the name Punken Stupor on Friday, Jan. 17, at 9:30 p.m., with Spades Cooley opening. Admission is $5. Abernathy says the set list will mostly consist of U.S. punk and hardcore, with a few surprises.
“Iggy, Black Flag, Fear, Minor Threat, Misfits, and Ramones,” he says. “Some crossover stuff that will be a surprise. I think there’ll be a song in there for everyone.
“We’ve all been having one helluva time with this. And I get to play loud guitar and thrash around. I hope people come out and thrash with us.”