Pure Americana Gold Dust.
As I’ve said before RMHQ receives albums from all over the world and all around the music scene; and while our Top 3 reviews for May 2020 are Jason Isbell, Kip Moore and Mr Steve Earle; we actually like nothing better than a handwritten letter accompanying a CD from an artist/band, referencing another review and asking, simply for ‘our time’.
That’s were the real gold dust is my friend!
The opening salvo from Stonerock’s guitar initially grabbed my attention by the scruff of the neck on opener Too Young To Quit; which quickly becomes a tragically beautiful song about a musician on the brink of ‘giving it all up’ but carrying on one gig and one week at a time, with extra Twang-Guitar free of charge too.
It’s a regular occurrence listening to albums like this, wondering why someone who can write songs as lyrically as sharp and astute as That’s The Truth, Gypsy Road and Long Slow Fade still remain relatively anonymous? It’s not as if he has a poor voice; Hell …. it’s the opposite; expressive, warm and even world-weary at times, and the way he constructs the stark melody on Railroad Man is quite staggering for something recorded on a ‘budget’.
As someone much wiser and literate, said about him:
“Kevin was Americana before the word became a staple in the music lexicon—an amalgamation of Traditional Country and Roots Rock, with the sensibilities and lyricism of a Folk artist.”
There’s plenty of glorious pedal-steel and Twang to satisfy the pickiest of Alt. and Country fans throughout; coupled to the heartfelt sensibilities of a Folk Singer, with the title track Twilight Town being a prime example; as is the Honky-Tonkying dancetastic and self-depreciating Life of The Party.
While I’ve quickly fallen in love with the uptempo Country songs; I’m dipping into the Folkier end of Stonerock’s songs to choose a Favourite Track.
At first it was definitely going to be Black Diamonds, mostly because of the quality of the detail that he includes in passing; but keeps coming back to haunt the listener, so much so you can miss whole verses deciphering the last one …… which just means you have to keep going back to the beginning to listen again.
But there’s another song that has crept up on me and ….. well ……. blown my mind! The finale, The Town Where I Was Born is something that any or all from Townes, Steve Earle, Guy Clark or Mary Chapin Carpenter would have been proud to have written; and I can think of a dozen or more current Americana ‘Stars’ who could do a lot worse than include this song on their next album too.
It’s everything you could hope to hear from a tightly wrapped yet winsome romantic tale of looking back, to look forward …….. 10/10 Mr. Stonerock.
With six previous albums to his name; the first being in 1978; and playing far too many gigs in coffeehouses, bars, community centres and festivals to count; Kevin Stonerock appears to be the epitome of what our humble Reviews website is all about.
Try it; I promise …… you’ll like it.
Released May 5th 2020