Monday, November 6, 2017

Kevn Kinney-MacDougal Blues (1990)


My adventures into the world of folk music resume with me reconnecting with a guy whom I got acquainted with a few years back when a request for his albums were made to me. Singer/songwriter/guitarist Kevn Kinney has performed in or been associated with several rock bands, but he's enjoyed an accomplished solo career as well, beginning with this "MacDougal Blues" debut. I'd been so long since I heard him performing that I'd sincerely forgotten how good he sounds—his distinctively aching voice that comes off as being delightfully charming in his Southern country accent. As such, my ears met all eleven of these songs with ease, particularly the ones where it's only the breezy rhythm of the acoustic guitar serving as the instrumental output. As usual when it comes to country music, I found a few here that I like because the colorful story being told captures my attention. On "Not Afraid To Die", it's interesting irony hearing him talking about not fearing death, but instead fearing the tears and sadness on this one. "Gotta Get Out Of Here" is my favorite one, because it's a down-to-earth topic that the general working-class citizen can relate to—being tired of the drama and the same-old same-old of going into work everyday and only being able to live the real life on the weekends. The lyrics say it all: 'pushing the time clock is like pushing a channel-changer', ' a new soap opera every day and didn't even audition ', ' can bank the money but can't bank the time ', 'can buy a house but not piece of mind'..... The concluding cut, "Hey Landlord (Meatloaf And Fishsticks)", is a lively, foot-pattin' country good time, despite the sad undertones about a man whose life is a mess because he can't pay the rent and everything is just going wrong. Catchy title, by the way, and quite appetizing, too; the whole 'meatloaf and fishsticks' thing just makes me hungry! I always like the songs where the names of other celebrities are mentioned; I got to hear another such treat with the upbeat opening title track, where Kevn talks about a longing for meeting the likes of Carole King, Patti Smith, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and many other well-known popular music legends. Then some songs here are just nice to sit back to and enjoy the music: "Lost And Found" (I identified the cello and not the violin as being the provider of the sharp musical accents accompanying the country sound on this one), "Last Song Of Maddie Hope", "Iron Maiden" (I get an intimate outdoor Italian bistro feeling on this one) and a second favorite of mine, "Chico & Maria" (I love everything about the music here—from the uptempo guitar beat to the dreamy calypso bells to the whistle melody at the very end). "The House Above Tina's Grocery" is a delightful one, too, and from a vocal standpoint, I'd say it stands as being one of Kevn's best performances:

1. MacDougal Blues
2. Not Afraid To Die
3. Lost And Found
4. Heard The Laughter Ending
5. Last Song Of Maddie Hope
6. Gotta Get Out Of Here
7. The House Above Tina's Grocery
8. Iron Mountain
9. Chico & Maria
10. Hey Landlord (Meatloaf And Fishsticks)

*****BONUS TRACK*****

11. Goodnight Rhyme

1 comment:

Rampage said...
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