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Music Review: Kentucky Thunder – ‘Bout Damn Time

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Kentucky Thunder has been together for fourteen years but finally got around to releasing their first album. The title, ‘Bout Damn Time, is appropriate given the length of their career without a release of any kind.

The group is comprised of four singers. Jonell Mosser, Etta Britt, Sheila Lawrence, and Vickie Carrico have been members of the Nashville music scene for several decades. They are backed by guitarist Bob Britt, keyboardist Jon Coleman, drummer Chris Eddy, multi-instrumentalist Randy Leago, and bassist Steve Mackey. Britt’s lead guitar playing almost steals the show on its own.

They decided to record their first album live at Nashville’s 3rd and Lindsley concert club, on April 1-2, 2010, before an appreciative audience. It was a wise decision as it introduces the group without any studio trickery.

I had not heard of Kentucky Thunder before receiving this CD in the mail for my review. For some reason I expected a four part country harmony group. What I got was a vocal foursome with some attitude that at times borders on a straight rock sound. There are harmonies present, but there are many times that a lead vocal is backed by the other voices. It all added up to a pleasant surprise.

The album’s first track, “Paper Thin,” is basically guitar/piano/bass rock with gritty vocals, which quickly established the fact that what you see on the album cover and read in the press release may not be what you will receive on the CD. It is an energetic and high powered track.

Two of the better performances are back to back. “I Don’t Care Who Knows” has a barrelhouse boogie feel and chugs along, while “I Am On Your Side” is a nice mid-tempo ballad. Other tracks of note are “Who’s Laughin’ At Who,” “Baton Rouge,” “What About Me,” and the old Stephen Foster song, “My Old Kentucky Home.”

The fourteen tracks have some nice changes of pace which never allow the listener to get too comfortable with any one style. The production is crisp and the sound is clear, although at times the audience almost disappears from the mix. Various members co-wrote eight of the tracks which is always promising for a group.

‘Bout Damn Time by Kentucky Thunder is a fine and well put together debut album. Hopefully, it will not be another fourteen years until their next release.

 

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