It has been such a long time since I’ve had a Sunday Spotlight post, and I am super excited to share this new CD release from Guthrie Kennard with you!
From the first time I met Guthrie at a songwriter swap, I fell in love with the raw honesty of his music. We have become great friends.
And now Guthrie has a new album out! And it’s fantastic from start to finish!
Guthrie started his music career at the age of 14. He has played with music greats like Smokin’ Joe Kubek & Doyle Bramhall, Sr. on Bird Records, and opened for numerous national touring acts, including Robin Trower, John Mayall, Taj Mahal, Leon Russell, and Donovan. He toured Europe with Grammy winner Marc Benno and co-wrote “Laverne” on Benno’s album Snake Charmer.
He is deeply immersed in Delta Blues and funk music, and this new album is a fine showcase of just how deep!
The CD opens with “Tremelo Rain,” written by Kennard and 8 Ball Aitken. While the song is a little too long for radio airplay at 4 minutes 18 seconds, it tells such a big story. “Mr. Tom is a shady cat down on Bourbon Street. He’ll pick your pockets, steal your watch and go gambling on a Riverboat Queen…” Of course, that’s just the beginning of the story. It unfolds throughout the song.
You’ll find a lot of Louisiana flavor in Guthrie’s songs. When asked about that, he replied, “I played music down in Louisana for many years and their music, as well as their culture, always resonated with me. I guess that’s why I bring it into a lot of my songs.”
Well, I have to agree with Guthrie, I too love Louisiana bayou music!
The intro to “Steel & Wood” sets the mood with a slide guitar riff.
It is impossible to listen to “Miss Honey” and not tap your foot or shake your booty! See for yourself!
The title track, “Riverside” is sinister and perfect for the spooky Halloween season. “Ain’t nobody here ever survives. Nobody crosses Riverside…Wham bam another man down. Wham bam blood on the ground…”
Another favorite of mine on this album is “Mama’s Cookin’.” A slice of life told with a raw funkiness that makes you hungry.
“Two Dollars Down” is another story song set in the old Storyville prostitute district in New Orleans in the 1800s. “Two dollars down, boy, will keep you satisfied…”
If I was forced to pick only one song from this CD as my number one choice, it would hands-down be “Across The River.” It is poignant and laced with so many paradoxes. The melody, lyrics, harmonica, and Guthrie’s signature guitar roll create an atmospheric song that moves me. “So, pick me up in the morning, take me for a ride, on the road outside of Richmond across the river to the other side. And I sing hallelujah, hallelujah…”
The album ends with “Rustle in the Corn.”
From start to finish, this is a CD I will listen to over and again. Guthrie does not shy away from his truth. With a raspy voice and unique funkiness, there is no one like him. The album is produced, engineered, and mastered by Ryan Tharp, who is a phenomenal guitarist.
I hope this piques your interest enough to head over and download some of his music. I know he will appreciate it from the bottom of his heart!
Thank you, Guthrie, for giving us another album filled with awesome music!