Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cd Review: “Welcome To Alabama” The Kenneth Brian Band

Kenneth Brian

Welcome To Alabama

Outlaw country, southern rock and even an old style country ballad or two, you get it all with Kenneth Brian. Including some fantastic guitar from the tattooed, ex-punk rocker. He's a real shit-kicking six-string slinger with great chops and then he writes songs in that Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt vein of songwriting. It's not only a hell of a rock 'n' roll sound, but it’s got a downhome feeling that grows on ya like a cool breeze on a hot Alabama night.

On Welcome To Alabama he brings together an all-star, and even legendary cast of like minded contributors. From the legendary, Johnny Sandlin’s production. Sandlin's impressive body of work speaks for itself. He played in Hour Glass (with his pals Duane and Gregg Allman), he then became Vice-President and head of A&R at Capricorn Records and went on to engineer and produce some of the most influential records and artists of our time including: The Allman Bros., Bonnie Bramlett, Wet Willie, Delbert McClinton, Cher, Widespread Panic, Leroy Parnell, Marshall Tucker Band, Derek Trucks and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band to name just a few. Johnny's experience in the classic/southern rock genre (he is one of the pioneers in the field) is a perfect match for Kenneth Brian's southern sensibilities, musically and otherwise.

Then there’s the band including legendary singer Bonnie Bramlett, guitarist Jason Isbell, keyboardist Randall Bramblett (Sea Level, Cowboy, Steve Winwood), bassist Charlie Hayward (The Charlie Daniels Band), guitarist James Pennebaker (Delbert McClinton) and iconic Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section bassist David Hood.

“Welcome To Alabama”

With influences apparent from Charlie Daniels, Hank Williams Jr., and a life growing up on the Gulf Coast in Florida as well as his families roots in West “By God” Virginia.

Nine out of the ten songs presented here are originals, with the lone cover being Dickey Betts, “Nothin’ You Can Do” which has a kickin’ duet with Bonnie Bramlett.

The four on the floor rocker, “Something Better” opens the album, and other favorites include “Texas by Tonight;” the tender barroom ballad, “Last Call;” the rumbling “Tonight We Ride;” and the powerfully-moving “Prayer for Love” (featuring Jason Isbell on slide guitar). Here’s the video of “Last Call” which will give you an idea of the stylistic spread on the CD:


“Last Call”

Before moving to Alabama, Kenneth Brian spent several years in Nashville writing songs and performing at a number of clubs in Music City. Then came touring nonstop around the U.S. and Europe. he’s built a reputation and a following everywhere he’s been.

Give this one a listen, and you’ll see why.jbwtrainhat1-394x571


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Copyright © 2011 Robert Carraher All Rights Reserved

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