If you are familiar with Kevn Kinney from his work with Atlanta rock band Drivin' and Cryin', you will immediately recognize and appreciate this CD. If not, A Good Country Mile will be a great introduction to his roots-rock style, given a special kick by his collaboration with Anton Fier's group, The Golden Palominos.
As producer, Fier has done a great job of adding a forceful, yet surprisingly light-handed touch to Kinney's music, so that the sound is bolstered but not overwhelmed. Kinney's harp still wails, and acoustic guitars still feature prominently, mixing with electric in a nicely layered way. The sound maintains Kinney's trademark rough edge, suited perfectly to his vocal style and lyrics.
Kinney's voice is like weathered leather, a bit worn and world-weary, with a country tinge to it, and his lyrics reflect that been-around-the-block sound. If you didn't know he honed his craft in the Deep South, it would not take you long to figure it out.
"Never Gonna Change" is classic Kinney, full of emotion and lots of twang, while "Gotta Move On (Again)" is a hard-rocking, wake-you-up and shake-you-up number, quite different from its original Drivin' and Cryin' incarnation. It is followed by "Challenge," which begins as a rock ballad and ends in classic Kinney storytelling style, complete with slide guitar. The next cut, "Hurricane" is another great storytelling song which is enhanced by some amazing guitar and harmonica work.
"Wild Dog Moon Part 2" is a song Kinney did with Drivin' and Cryin' and reminds me very much of Bob Dylan's work on "Tangled Up in Blue." It has that same rhythmic, street-preacher cadence. This is one of my favorite songs on this CD.