The Kenneth Brian Band is a straight forward, take no prisoners, modern day southern rock band. They combine some country leanings with a blistering guitar sound to produce some fine, modern southern rock. It may sound simple but sometimes simple is best, and that is the case with the music here.
If you are going to record a southern rock album, you need a southern rock producer. Enter Johnny Sandlin, the legendary producer of the Allman Brother’s number one album, Brothers and Sisters, and their hit follow-up, Win, Lose Or Draw. He provides a steady hand as he leads the band through their debut release, Welcome To Alabama.
The band is fronted by its namesake, vocalist, lead guitarist, and songwriter Kenneth Brian. He wrote all of the tracks except for “There Ain’t Nothin’ You Can Do” by Dickey Betts, who originally recorded it on his Dickey Betts and Great Southern album in 1977. If you are a southern rock band and want to cover an outside song, one by Betts is a wise choice.
The rest of the band is made up of rhythm guitarist Travis Stephens, drummer Dickey Pryor, and bassist Zach Graham, and supporting artists include keyboardist Randall Bramblett and vocalist Bonnie Bramlett.
The title track is a good introduction to his music as he sings, “Welcome to Alabama, come on in.” ”Last Call” travels in more of a country direction due to a lap steel sound underpinning the duet with Lillie May Rische. The legendary Bonnie Bramlett lends her voice to “Nothin’ You Can Do,” and she is always welcome.
Through it all Brian’s guitar play dominates the sound. He has developed his chops through almost a decade of playing in a number of groups in the Nashville area and now touring constantly with his own band. His voice has a laid back appeal and is just about perfect for southern rock.
Welcome To Alabama is a fine debut album from a new band on the southern rock block. Whether in a smokey bar, on the road, or in the studio, The Kenneth Brian Band has produced some catchy and high octane modern day music, which proves that southern rock is alive and well.