Kurt Ekstrom started playing drums at age 11 and has musical influences from rock and jazz to blues and country. After graduating high school in 1990 Kurt started playing the local circuit with just about any band that was active on the scene. Kurt recorded his first full length CD with singer/songwriter Chris Steever in 1996 and the song “Morning Song” was featured on a regular rotation on Concord New Hampshire’s own WJYY for two months in 1997. Kurt joined the October Sons in 1998 and over 13 years the band played all over New England, released several CD’s and opened for such artists as Rick Derringer, John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band, and former members of Boston. Kurt also joined up with October Sons singer Chris Peters to release two of Chris’ solo CD’s and two songs from Chris’ second CD was featured in the short film “Bingo” by local NH film maker Rob Azevedo.
In late 2011 Kurt changed gears and joined the just under a year old Shana Stack band, who already had one CD out. The Shana Stack band focuses on playing top 40 Country music as well as playing their own Country originals. The band is a five piece with Shana Stack taking on lead female vocals while Ed Leavitt is the bands male vocalist and songwriter. The band is rounded out by Peter Henault on guitar, Alec Darien on bass and Kurt at the drums. Since joining the band, Kurt has recorded three full CD’s, played over 300 shows all over New England as well as New York state and opened for such acts as Sugarland, Rascal Flatts, and the Band Perry. In June of 2015 the band had the honor of opening for Tobey Keith on the main stage at the Bank of NH Pavilion in Gilford NH. In September of 2015 the band was chosen to open for Craig Morgan at Fisher Cat stadium in Manchester NH.
The band has also won multiple awards including Country band of the year from the independent Country Music Association in 2013 , Band of the year from the limelight music awatds in 2015 and County Band of the year from the New England music awards in 2014. The band was also very honored to take home Band of the Year from the New England Music awards in 2015. The Shana Stack Band is looking ahead to a very busy gigging schedule for 2016 and is preparing to enter the studio in April to record three new songs to be released through all the major media outlets.
Kurt is currently playing classic maple Ludwig drums, Paiste Giant Beat cymbals and endorses the Kelly-Shu internal bass drum mic mounting systems. Kurt has also been collecting vintage WFL/Ludwig drums since 1990 and has a nice collection of Ludwigs ranging from the late 30’s into the present. Kurt is an authority on dating vintage WFL/Ludwig drums and is an active member of drumforum.org since it was founded in the early 2000’s.
CD’s that Kurt has played on:
Steever: Perspectives 1997
October Sons: Sessions 1999, Paint the Town October 2001, October Sons 2008
Chris Petes: All the More We Know 2006, Passing Lane 2010
The Shana Stack Band: What You See is What You Get 2012, Every Now and Then 2013, Then and Now 2014.
Awards with The Shana Stack Band:
2015 – Band of the Year winner for the New England Music Awards, Foxborough, MA
2015 – Country Artist of the Year winner for the Limelight Magazine Awards, Dartmouth, MA
2014 – World’s Best Indie Band winner, Wiles Magazine
2014 – Country Act of the Year winner for the New England Music Awards, Lowell, MA
2013 – Band of the Year Winner for the Independent Country Music Association, Nashville, TN
2013 – Fans Choice Award Winner for the Independent Country Music Association, Nashville, TN
2013 – Album of the Year nominee for the Independent Country Music Association, Nashville, TN
2011 – Cider Magazine’s Country Band of the Year
You Tube: Search “Shana Stack Band”