Friday, January 2, 2015

Kenny Owens "Trouble's Coming Round" on Astute Records

Kenny Owens made his way to Hendersonville, TN by way of Brooklyn, NY and somewhere along the way picked up the blues, folk and country influences as a session bassist for a number of notable artists before striking out on his own with his second full length Look Both Ways at the end of 2014.

A-Side's "Trouble's Coming Round" reminds me of a Sun Records rambling '60s Johnny Cash style country start where he was beginning to move away from the heavy reverb folk standards and into the darker stuff. Kenny has a natural vibrato in his vocal and the track lists the ways trouble is headed his way in a classic warning story narrative style like Waylon, Willie and Kris' pure american songwriting. Hendersonville, TN probably shares a lot in common with the country music capital and this has that collaborative session sound from a guy who's been around and knows exactly what he wants. A little like Vic Chestnut in high tempo swing with a pop rhythm section and an ironic take on a optimistic sounding track that should be anything but with all that trouble barreling down on him.
B-Side's "On The Dole" is a different version than the one on the full length and opens with a steel guitar and Kenny's more somber side taking a conservative line with this character that feels entitled to sitting around on his butt and having everything come for free. Could be found playing at the 2016 republican convention if they have their way. Makes sense this would be a relaxed kicking back steel meandering tune existing just outside of town where days take forever, impromptu junkyard in the front yard and this guy can't even lift up his feet with a shuffle beat and measured acoustic chords. Goes as far as getting into his medical situation, his girlfriend, so there's not much redeeming about this guy. Makes for an entertaining track but is the narrator part of the 1%? Call me a communist but I don't have a problem with helping people out as I don't see many people asking for handouts in my parts.

Pick this up from Kenny direct at his bandcamp page.

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