In January of 2006 a five song demo Kenyon had made in Nashville got in the hands of country music legend Mel Tillis. Kenyon soon signed a management deal with Mr. Tillis. For the next 5-6 years, he recorded three albums and toured the nation. Touring with Mel brought him to the top of the world for a country singer–the Grand Ole Opry. Kenyon has since recorded two albums under his independent label Kenyon Lockry Music. His latest release, “Family Man” is a concept album that touches on the phase of life he’s enjoying at present–“with gentlemanly, sunbeam-strobed home-folk bounce, Kenyon shares his world and the cherished ones populating it. An unhurried, loose-limbed family album of universal import” (Larson).
If your going to learn, you may as well learn from the best, and Kenyon Lockry has Mel Tillis mentoring him. Tillis heard a demo by Lockry in 2006 and wanted to meet him. He invited him to stay on his farm outside of Nashville and to help introduce him to the ‘right people’. He also signed Lockry to a management deal, and whilst I wasn’t previously familiar with Kenyon Lockry, on the strength of this release it’s obvious why Mel would get so excited. Lockry says on his website, “I can’t begin to list all that Mel has taught me about showmanship, songwriting,singing, and the music itself. I can’t thank Mel enough.”
We can assume that Mel didn’t get involved to try and make a quick buck, for Lockry is way too country for today’s country, unlikely to break through at country radio any time soon, and though it pains me to say it, probably won’t have the major labels hunting him down unless he changes his sound. All of which is good news for anyone who likes traditional country from the school of Hank, brought bang up to date with a bunch of twang, lashings of steel, and a voice somewhere between Roger Miller and Rodney Hayden for some mighty fine rocking’ honky tonk.
I get the feeling that references to Hank that litter the album are not just there for effect, or to establish some kind of credibility, this guy is for real, and knows his stuff, but It’s About That Time is far form a retro effort.
Working from a download, I don’t have the writing credits but would guess that Lockry has written all the songs here and the material is impressive. Honky Tonk ’Til I’m Over You, with twangy guitar, a slappin’ bass line and Hank-esque steel nails his colours to the mast in style for the album opener.There are plenty of up-tempo honky tonkers but variety is provided with the spiritual number, Follow His Light And Be Redeemed, which is set to a Johnny Cash rhythm, the closest he comes to a ballad with Let’s Write Ourselves A Love Song, the rockabilly-ish My Lil Fiance, and the more contemporary sounding I Didn’t Grow Up Pickin’ Cotton which is lyrically superb = “I know it’d be easy to say I was born sixty years too late, but I know God doesn’t make mistakes”.
There may be only ten tracks and a running time just under 26 minutes, but every track is a corker and Kenyon Lockry is recommended without hesitation. I hope we get to hear a lot more from him. – Duncan Warwick
“With gentlemanly, sunbeam-strobed home-folk bounce, Kenyon shares his world and the cherished ones populating it.”
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Premier album de ce chanteaur, qui m’a rappele un Dale Watson des debuts. On Sent des infulences sous-jacentes indeniables, dont celle de Hank Williams ou du boom-chicka-boom cashien. Avec une steel et un violon tres presents, pas etonnant que les honky tonks plaintifs, medium ou enleves soient tres reussis. Tous les titres sont de haut niveau, ensuite c’est une affaire de gout personnel. Le mien me fait pencher pur My lil finance, entre hillbilly bop et rockabillly (chic e’est un titre sur notre pays, avec quelques mots en français!) et Lovin’s what I do best a la Red Simpson. Seule critique: il n’y a que 10 titres. – Bernard Boyat
“Si lo que te gusta son los sonidos mas tradicionales del Country,y adoras a tu familia,tu disco sin duda alguna es Family Man,disponible en grandes plataformas de distribucion on-line,o en la pagina web del artista.”
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