Kenny Brown CD review [Fat Possum]

Music Reviews
Kenny Brown CD review [Fat Possum]
Feb 11, 2003, 03:06


Kenny Brown, sidekick and slide guitarist for R.L. Burnside, wears a trucker's cap, the kind made popular by Ashton Kutcher and other young MTV stars who get famous for no real reason at all. Kenny Brown's trucker hat looks nothing like Kutcher's. It's worn-in and has actual grease on it—much like the slide guitarist's blues music.

I saw Kenny Brown at a bluesy/folky/Americana festival called Thirsty Ear in Santa Fe in the summer of 2003 and, at first, I wasn't sure if this slight, bedraggled character could make it onstage, much less grab the attention of a late afternoon crowd waiting for Gov't Mule. But as soon as Brown started reeling off the stripped-down, deep grooves from Stingray, it was apparent he draws strength from his six-string.

This rollicking, rootsy record is the perfect soundtrack to a backyard summer barbecue that ends with two old friends fighting over an overly flirtatious girlfriend. The production is sketchy in parts, but who the hell cares when you have something this real, this organic and pure. Brown's slide guitar playing (see “Going Down South”) isn't nearly as the glowing as the promotional materials might have you to believe, but it damn sure feels real, unlike those spankin' new polyester trucker hats at the local Tower Records. [Fat Possum]

-Michael Coleman

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