Delbert on Yates
Born in Nashville and raised in a recording studio, GRAMMY- winning multi-instrumentalist Yates McKendree grew up listening to and playing with many great musicians. Self-taught from the age 3, music came to him naturally. Although he is just 21 years old, his experience as a professional musician goes back more than a decade.
His early experience includes playing regularly in some of Nashville’s most notable venues (The Bluebird Cafe, The Ryman Auditorium, 3rd & Lindsley) along with North American and European tours and multiple appearances on national television (Imus In The Morning, CBS Mornings).
During Yates’s high school years, he played on and engineered many recording projects; most notably for Delbert McClinton and John Hiatt, who told Rolling Stone magazine, “Yates was our secret ingredient.”
In January 2020, Yates earned a GRAMMY™ Award for his role as an engineer and a musician on Delbert McClinton’s “Tall Dark & Handsome.”
His debut LP “Buchanan Lane” on the Qualified Records label released on October 28, 2022 to critical acclaim worldwide. The album features classic tunes and four original compositions, two of which Yates co-wrote with stellar Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame 2022 inductee and multi-GRAMMY winner Gary Nicholson. Produced with his father, (Delbert's longtime keyboardist and producer), Kevin McKendree, “Buchanan Lane” highlights Yates’ skills, remarkable style and taste as a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist with an emphasis on guitar. Yates is nominated for Best Emerging Album at the 2023 Blues Music Association Awards.
Yates was a breakout star on the Sandy Beaches cruise this year, showcasing his debut album; and will be a featured artist on the 2024 Sandy Beaches Cruise.
See his April schedule for show dates in the midwest. You will definitely want to say you "saw him when."
Buchanan Lane is available HERE Order, stream or download your copy today.
Delbert talks about Yates
"Yates McKendree is a freak of nature. So is his daddy, Kevin. They are two of the most talented, innovative artists I’ve ever had the good fortune to make music with."
"I’ve got a picture of Yates when he was about three years old. We were all at a Christmas party at Gary Nicholson’s house. In the living room, Gary has an old upright piano. I looked over and saw Yates in there standing at that piano and he had one finger up. He was so short. The keyboard was at eye level. He was studying it. And then he started playing with one finger. Bin, bin, bin. Bom, bom, bom. Bin. Bom."
"I took a picture of him. And from the day of that picture, he just started learning everything so fast. He is talented beyond anything I will ever be able to fully comprehend. They’ve got it all in their heads, he and his daddy both."
"Yates is somebody people are going to hear a lot more of. He’s 20, and right now and he can smoke anybody on the guitar, just blow them away. Bam. One thing that was so notable about Yates was that when he was still learning to play guitar, his hands weren’t big enough, so he was playing all this complicated stuff with his thumb. Playing Freddie King instrumentals with just his thumb. Finally, he started using his whole hand. I have a video of him playing “Hideaway,” Freddie King’s big hit instrumental."
"Yates and Kevin are two of the most important people I’ve ever gotten to work with. They are both phenomenal. And they bring out the best in me just by being in the room. It’s some kind of magic."
- Delbert McClinton April, 2022