A Good Country Mile

Kevn Kinney & The Golden Palominos

Almost Loaded, 2012


REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ frontman Kevn Kinney got to work on his first solo record since 2004. Here, he teams with producer and drummer extraordinaire Anton Fier as he relaunches his band The Golden Palominos with a brand new lineup for their first release since 1996. Things get interesting right off the bat with a Drive-By Truckers cover, “Never Gonna Change.” Kinney’s voice is still as strong and interesting as ever and it helps to bring the song to life. Meanwhile, the Palominos’ backing really charges the track up, making it an instant highlight.

“Got To Move On (Again)” is a slow-chugging rocker that fits right at home with latter-day Drivin’ N’ Cryin’. Clearly, the five year my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 hiatus Kinney took from recording was for the best because he’s made one of the best records of his career. “Challenge” sounds like some down home boogie blues that could’ve easily been played on the radio, if it had been recorded by the Black Keys. Hearing Kinney’s voice on these tracks, it’s hard to believe he’s been in the game for as long as he has because his voice still sounds as forceful and sharp as ever.

When it comes to the backing of the Golden Palominos, even though it’s a completely different lineup from their heyday, Anton Fier still has that knack for finding the perfect assortment of musicians for any given project. All of the musicians gel so well together, you would think that the current lineup had been together for years. “Hurricane” immediately comes to mind as a result of the melding of the band, which works wonder for Kinney’s voice and lyrics. “Wild Dog Moon Pt. 2” seems to drag a bit, and while it’s still a strong song, it doesn’t have the same feeling as the first couple of tracks. But that’s not shabby at all for a record this well put together.

The almost ten minute long title track is almost perfect as a delicate acoustic number, akin in sound and voice to Sparklehorse without as much weirdness. It’s an amazing thing that in this day and age with ProTools and all these crappy pop records coming out, something so simple without any frills like this disc could make such an impact. But all of that is a testament to quality songwriting and versatile production.

There’s only one real qualm that this writer has with the record and that is the length of “Bird.” At nearly ten minutes, it feels at least four minutes too long; if it could’ve undertaken some trimming, it would’ve made the song absolutely perfect.

The final track, a song written by the frontman of Seven Mary Three, Jason Ross, “Southwestern State” is a bit of an anomaly in the canon of Kevn Kinney. Despite it coming out of complete left field, Kinney totally makes the song his own and turns it into the best track on the record, without a doubt. What an absolutely amazing way to close out an album that should stand as one of Kinney’s defining moments.

Rating: B

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© 2014 Pete Crigler and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Almost Loaded, and is used for informational purposes only.