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 six years, he recorded three albums and toured the nation. Touring with Mel brought Kenyon to Branson, CMA Music Festivals, and multiple performances at the Ryman Auditorium and the Grand Ole Opry.
Kenyon has since recorded three critically acclaimed albums under his independent label Kenyon Lockry Music. His latest release “Honky Tonk Noir”, is a concept album based upon classic Film Noir movie plots including a femme fatale. This action packed album follows a passionate couple’s relationship which starts off on fire, but ultimately leads to the protagonists ruin.
“I can’t imagine anyone more capably turning the wild side of life into an audio-cinematic turn, exploring with first-hand witness its temptations, sorrows, and head-back howls. Nor can more fittingly Americana-grounded accompanists for such an ambitious endeavor be found than this number that includes Dave Roe, Chris Scruggs, and Kenny Vaughn.” (DC Larson)
At Kenyon’s live performances, he strives to keep a balance of staying true to his style and playing all time favorites that can appeal to just about any crowd.
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.”
Read more from damnationdanceparty.blogspot.com
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.”
Read more from WhentheCowboySings.es
(CSC) 12. Tell me about your protégé Kenyon Lockry! How did you discover him?
I went on a hunting trip with a buddy of mine here in Florida, Mike Parton. He has a ranch outside Disney World; about 80,000 acres. We were sitting around the campfire, about 4 or 5 of us, and Mike said “Hey, I got somebody I want you to hear.” I said “I don’t want to hear anybody out here in the woods. I’m just having a good time with you guys here.” He says “You’re gonna hear it anyway.” He went and got his pickup and pulled up to the fire, and he played this CD that had five songs on it. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I thought the kid was really, really good. I said “You call him and tell him I’ll be getting hold of him.” I waited about a month before I called him. He was just leaving; his daddy was bringing him up to Nashville in their motor home. His daddy was going to fly back and he was going to live in Nashville in the motor home, and see if he could get a break here or there. I caught him just in time. (Laughs) I said “Man, you don’t want to get up there in all that mess if you can help it. You’re a good kid and you could go astray.” And Lord have mercy, his parents really thanked me. At the time he was only 22. We’ve been working with him. Pete Fischer’s been using him on the Grand Ole Opry and the Ernest Tubb Record Shop. It’s going to take a little time, but he’s really good and he’s going to make it. He works about three days a week. He has a band called the The Freegrazers, like the cattle. I’m going to change the name of his band to the Meerkats. (Laughs)http://www.countrystarscentral.com/meltillisinterview.htm