I have been a fan of Craig Kinsey since his early days with the Medicine Show, who eventually came to be known as the Sideshow Tramps. Craig Kinsey has always been a master showman, and has always had the ability to bring a crowd to a frenzy. His songs have poetic and witty lyrics that tell a story and keep you laughing although they may be dark in nature.
Earlier this year, Craig Kinsey released his second solo album by the name of American Roots and Machines, I heard him talking about this project for quite some time, and was very excited to hear what he had come up with.
His first solo album THE BURDENER was quite a master piece and one of my favorite to listen to, so I was expecting no less than the same from this collection of songs.
The album begins up close and personal with a couple songs about young ladies with great expectations. The first track, Dissatisfied, is a somber acoustic track with great backing vocals. It takes you for a walk with a girl who has it all, but feels nothing, not even the blood of God is enough for her which is a great leading tone for track two which simply asks, WHAT IS IT THAT YOU WANT?
On this track he picks up the pace with drums and some distorted guitar. Track 3 is called I'M NOT PART OF THE SCENE. This is an anthem for all musicians. It's a song that declares the independence from popular culture, and embraces doing things from the heart, and and tells us to remove ourselves from the herd mentality.
With NEW WORLD NOW, Craig takes us to Church gives the album an Andrew Lloyd Webber - safe sanctuary feel of revolution and spirituality, Craig gives his sermon and the people sing along, and its all quite majestic and moving. He then returns to a mellow Americana approach on the next couple of tracks.
On TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD he gives a feel of Johnny Cash and Leonard Cohen, on AMERICAN CHANT I can smell the iron of the railroad spikes covered in blood and sweat. Craig then gives us the blues on BROKE AND HUNGRY, he paints a picture of the less fortunate which he carries on to the following track SAY, JESUS (A BLACK MAN TALKS TO JESUS).
There is plenty of compassion in these little wake up calls. The next track GETTYSBURG is a short history lesson and a long song but worth the listen. Finally the album closes with CREDITS, which drips with gulf coast flavor, laced with accordion, washboard, and a Spanish chorus, closing this project just perfectly, bringing it all back home.
Craig Kinsey has yet again given my ears something good to swallow. As usual he has brought together a great group of musicians and friends for a great effort at taking you to that other place we all love to go. There will be links bellow to refer you where to go and catch him live or purchase his CD. Anything that he is associated with is worth giving a chance.
"I'm Not Part Of a Scene" on You Tube