|Hard Rockin' Head Knockin', Kevin Fennell
Windsor Music BMI, 2009
This is the latest offering from ace guitarist Kevin Fennell, hot on the heels of his Rockabilly release "Boppin' Sparky Ane The Sparkle-Billies" released earlier in 2009. This new album is something else completely and features a more harder edge than his previous release.
As the title implies - it's Hard and it's Rockin'..! Nine original tunes, either written or co-written by Fast Fingers Fennell featuring some fine rockin' cuts like the opener "Red Moon Rising", which sounds like it could come from a Tarantino movie, and it features a riff that gets embedded in your head after just a couple of plays. This is a great opening track, and although this track has lyrics, it is almost an instrumental and sets the scene for the rest of the album.
The stand out track for me is the wonderful "Guitar Music", which comes right out of that late 60's vibe. It wouldn't sound out of place on a Crosby, Stills and Nash album. This is the sort of tune that makes you feel like cruisin' down the highway with the car windows rolled down and this song blasting out of the car stereo. As this is the longest track on the album, coming in at near on 10 minutes, I'd say it's almost a classic in the making, in fact I'd say it's pretty much a masterpiece!
Kevin himself has been in the music business for many years now and has played most parts of Europe, the UK and America. His influences range from Country, Blues, Cajun, Swing and Rockabilly. So, you never know what you may get from one of his albums. But, you will know it's Kevin Fennell, whatever way he plays, he sure does have a unique sound.
"You Got The Blues" is a real rocker, and it has some mighty fine guitar work included, and has a real summer feel to it, despite it's title. Also featuring the harmonica playing of fellow band member JOEL GOSSMAN to fine effect.
"Does Your Husband Own A Gun" - kind of speaks for it's self and has a more humorous side to it than it's title would suggest, and it kind of put me in mind of some of those old British new wave and punk songs from about thirty years ago. "Hot Rod Molly" is a great guitar lead rocker that sounds like it would work very well on stage.
"Paw Paw Boogie", "Smack Talkin' Mama" and "Chicken Pickin' Strut" all have that Fennell stamp on 'em. The album closes with the beautiful, mellow sounding, "Blue Love", featuring some wonderful harmony vocals and guitar picking, and leaves you feeling totally uplifted. I really liked this closing song and although it's not a rocker, it works really well with the rest of the album and is a real nice way to end this footstompin', handclappin' geet-tar pickin' CD.
Luther Jackson plays bass and DJ Bonebrake is on drums whilst Joel Gossman features on harp, with Kevin Fennell on guitar and vocals. This is a mighty fine album, in fact I'd say it was pretty damn cool!
This CD can be ordered directly from:
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Used with permission, 2010
Music reviews, much like Titlemax reviews, are subjective and not everyone has the same opinion. Often when an artist changes up their music style it puts off some listeners, but this review of Kevin Fennell's Hard Rockin' Head Knockin is a solid thumbs up.