Monday, February 12, 2018


Album number two for Sackville, N.B.'s Kenny James, and he turns further down the roots-rock-country road. He has a natural twang, and that deceptively lyric simplicity that's always a feature of the best country music. There are little lines of wisdom, such as "There's a flower poking up from the crack in the sidewalk/It spoke to me sayin' don't you ever give up." They are honest observations that pack a punch, and make the songs real and meaningful.

Meanwhile, if you like country with a boogie beat, he's the man to meet (stealing a line from Little Feat). "Soul Gambler" features a Farfisa-like organ on top and some killer soloing from guest Dave Rahmer. For more support, James didn't have to look far down the road. Over in Moncton he found The Divorcees' Alex Madsen, always a devotee of Outlaw country. Just across the border in Amherst, N.S. there was Ray Legere, the best bluegrass fiddler and mandolin player about, and a little further along the Northumberland Strait he called on Dale Murray and Christina Martin, on pedal steel and vocals respectively. But James handles all the other instruments and writing himself, from the touching lost-love song "Victoria" to the rockier "One Hit Wonders." There's all kinds of roots in the Eastern soil.

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