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The Kenny Young Band hail from New Jersey and play countrified rock with a distinctive Southern twist. An unlikely cover of Walk Away Renee hints at a history of earning a crust playing crowd pleasers and, if this example is anything to go by, they really know what they’re about. The restrained vocal lets the heartbreak story shine through, whilst the glorious soaring tune gets a guitar band arrangement that suits it down to the ground. The other cover on this album is more indicative of where this band’s heart is. Greg Allman and Kim Payne’s Midnight Rider sounds really good, complete with authentic harmonising vocals as per proper Southern Rock. Andy Schlee has fun with his guitar part, sliding with dirt and fuzz all over the tune, and it’s not the only chance he gets to do his Allmans tribute act.
Kenny Young’s own songs are plenty strong enough to be in this company, drawing on a variety of styles but certainly having quite a strong 70s air (in the best possible way) – formative years shine through, I guess. I can’t find any sign that he has plans to make it over to the UK though the fact this disc (from 2010) recently appeared in the post suggests there’s something afoot. Well worth checking out, anyway, because this is solidly entertaining fare from a real craftsman.
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