Blackbird (2016)

Kenneth Brian comes from Alabama, he’s a real Southern rebel, he knows how to play the Gibson LesPaul, he already has issued a good record (“Welcome to Alabama”) and has played with Albert Lee (one of the last guitar legend) on stage. That’s why we can think he can make it in the Southern world. Here he offers us a seven-song album that shows how good he is. First song “Blackbird” has a heavy slide guitar intro and becomes a medium Southern rock song with a good slide solo. “Shakedown” looks like new Skynyrd mid-tempo titles, but we do prefer “Goin’ Down Hard” (a blues Southern ballad) with a solo full of feeling that reminds us of the southern guitars in the seventies. Outlaws influence can be found on “Vultures” with a kind of New Country. “Go West is a Southern ballad too with a traditional fast final solo. A special note to the medium instrumental song “Ponderosa Breakdown” that looks like Southern Rock of the seventies, one like Charlie Daniels/Tommy Crain, the other one like the Allman Brothers Band. Last song is “The Pale Horse” with only Kenneth Brian guitar and a voice, in a dark and nostalgic mood. We just could say a little reproach in the lack of change in the tempos and the harmonic constructions. In spite of this little problem, we must admit that Kenneth Brian has all the cards to have a great career. Let’s hope that the Music Gods be with him!

Olivier Aubry

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