Born 30 minutes north of Seattle, Kyle Rife was raised in Everett, WA. At the age of 6, he took up a strong interest in playing the guitar. His early influences were those such as Angus Young, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Mark Knopfler, and, of course, Jimi Hendrix. Kyle gave his first public performance during his 3rd grade talent show. Throughout his academics, his teachers took notice of his talents and encouraged his aspirations to pursue a career in music. “I was that guy in school. I would bring either an acoustic or an electric guitar to school, sometimes a little ukulele because it was easy to transport.”
At the end of Kyle’s senior year, he was nominated by his class peers twice, one for “best musician” and second for “most likely to be famous.”
Soon after high school, Kyle got his first “gig” opportunity. Hired as lead guitarist for The Eric Stone Band, out of Destin, Florida. His first tour lasted 4 months, spending that Christmas in the British Virgin Islands. In 2007, Kyle made his first visit to Nashville, TN. “Once I saw how good the players were in this town… I was just blown away. It was a very humbling/inspiring moment.” 3 years later, Kyle would take a break from The Eric Stone Band to focus on school. He enrolled at Edmonds Community College near his hometown back in Washington. “I wanted to study music. Really understand it inside and out.” But this wouldn’t last long. His new change of direction lasted nearly 3 months when Kyle got another gig opportunity, to accompany a musical mentor of his…Scott Bryan in Fort Myers Beach, Fl. “The state of Florida and I have a strong relationship. It was my stepping stone state in those early days.” Playing the local clubs, the duo would perform weekly.
During the days, he worked as a bus boy for a high-end seafood establishment. In November of 2009, Kyle was hired by Jerry Diaz & Hannah’s Reef, for a headlining slot of Jimmy Buffett music festival “Meeting of the Minds.” It was here Kyle was approached by Artist/Singer Songwriter, Ilo Ferriera. Ilo was a new artist discovered by Jimmy Buffett. Kyle would audition for the artist weeks later, at the Ritz Carlton in Orlando, FL while Ilo was on tour with Buffett. Kyle won the acceptance of Ilo, but needed one final approval. Jimmy Buffett. That night Kyle would be introduced to the man himself and begin a 2-year journey, touring the world with Ilo, opening shows for Jimmy and the Coral Reefers, Dave Mathews Band, recording sessions in Kingston, Jamaica, with legendary players sly & Robbie under the supervision of Chris Blackwell, Island Records founder and discoverer of Bob Marley and U2.
“One of my most cherished moments was following a session in Jamaica with Ilo & Chris Blackwell shaking my hand and saying that I was “going to go far in this business.” He performed for Bill & Hillary Clinton @ the Stephen Talk House in the Hampton’s of Long Island, NY. When Ilo decided to move back home to be with family in March of 2012, Kyle would officially make Nashville home. He moved in with a new up and coming artist, Joel Crouse. The two would become a power acoustic duo, touring regularly with Darius Rucker and other various well-established country acts. In June of 2013, the two would be picked to perform 16 sold out stadium/arena shows for Taylor Swift, promoting her Red Tour. While on tour, Kyle and Joel would make close friends with rising pop star Ed Sheeran. 2014 saw many more opening dates with Darius Rucker. “Darius is honestly one of the most hilarious, real, down to earth dudes I know. I can’t say more good things about that guy. In 2015, Kyle began filling in as lead guitarist for Tim Montana. He was soon asked to join the band full time which would lead to many direct support touring for such acts as Kid Rock & ZZ Top.
Kyle has always had a gift for writing music, having co-written songs with Jeffery Steele, Mac McAnally, Darius Rucker, and Frank Rogers among many other notable writers/producers/artists. “I’ve seen a lot in my 30 years of being around. Couldn’t be more thrilled or honored to be a part of such an incredible group of publishers. I respect Daniel Hill and Billy Lynn beyond words. For them and everyone at Spirit, to see value in what I do… I’m just truly grateful. Only been around a week and I feel right at home!”