On Safari

Kentucky Headhunters

Plowboy Records, 2016


REVIEW BY: David Bowling


It has been almost a half-century since vocalist/guitarist Richard Young, drummer Fred Young, and lead guitarist Greg Martin began playing together, and after adding bassist Doug Phelps early on, they have remained together ever since. It took them nearly 20 years to issue their first album, but my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Pickin’ On Nashville was worth the wait, selling just over two million copies.

The Kentucky Headhunters have just released their 12th studio album, titled On Safari. Their sound has changed with the passing of time. They have evolved from an electric country band into a Southern rock group that incorporates blues and country elements into their mix. Adding some extra depth to their present sound is keyboardist Kevin McKendree.

Their new album includes ten originals and two notable covers: Alice Cooper’s “Caught In A Dream” and Charlie Daniel’s “Way Down Yonder.” These two cover tunes rock from beginning to end, but it’s the ten original compositions that form the heart and soul of this album. They are the type of solid rock and roll that one has come to expect from the Headhunters.

“Rainbow Shine,” ”Jukebox Full Of Blues,” and “Deep Southern Blues Again” have them wrapping their Southern rock roots around a blues foundation. “Beaver Creek Mansion” and “Lowdown Memphis Town Blues” offer a clever look at the band’s own history, infused with Dixie-styled rock and roll. And “God Loves A Rolling Stone” is probably the Kentucky Headhunters at their most basic, incorporating a number of styles into a gritty and sparse presentation.

Almost 50 years into their musical journey, the Kentucky Headhunters continue to evolve and have over the years become one of the great American rock and roll bands. On Safari is another brick in their musical wall.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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