“Patina” – John David Kent (2023) [english]

I follow social pages of many American artists always looking for something new that is worth telling.

As many of you know, one of my reference bands are Whiskey Myers from Palestine, Texas.

Well, one of the members of the Texas band, percussionist and pianist with innate talent, is Tony Kent.

Why am I telling you this? For the simple fact that a few weeks ago the good Tony on his social page, had written a post in which he recommended listening to the new record of his older brother, John David Kent.

I didn’t get begged and immediately looked for the record and of course all the stories I could find online about him.

Boom! I discover that John has been around for a long time and in the second half of the 90s he successfully rode the post-grunge era, the end of the swell brought on the world by Nirvana by Kurt Cobain.

The Radish, the name of his band in which he was the drummer, were founded in 1993 together with singer Ben Kweller.

They recorded between ’94 and ’96 two self-produced records (Hello and Dizzy) that reached the ears of none other than Nils Lofgren, well-known guitarist of the E-Street Band that accompanied Bruce Springsteen. Electrocuted by their sound, he proposed them to his producer, Roger Greenwalt, who decided to let him record demos for the record companies. There was an unexpected rush to sign them and the choice fell on Mercury Records.

The album that followed, Restrainting Bolt, in 1997 thanks to the label’s high-level marketing work, led to their success for a young post-grunge rock band.

They reached the top 40 of the charts as far as England and performed many times in Europe.

They appeared on well-known shows such as the David Letterman Show, opened for the well-known Faith No More concerts, and performed on the main stage of the 1997 Reading Festival.

So they did the proverbial “bang”. In 1998, after a few line-up placements, they went to a magical and legendary location to record the sequel to the previous hit album, Muscle Shoals in Alabama.

The album titled Discount Fireworx consisted of 18 pieces that never saw the light.

Their label, Mercury, was a rib of Universal that in those years merged with Polygram, the usual economic turns of the big record companies and finance.

The band found themselves with a new label that had never signed the band and that had no interest in them, not considering them important. The Redish broke up in 1999.

John did not stop being a musician, he also became a producer and built his own recording studio in Celeste, Texas The Vault and in 2005 founded his own independent record label: Blackland Records.

Kent then founded another band and released in 2011 with his new solo debut of the same name and then in 2013 Before the Sun Comes Up.

Two great records between country, Texas rock and soul.

Here we are, after 10 years, to the new album by John David Kent: Patina. Our guy now lives with his family in Nashville because, in the good part of town, there are all the best musicians and the club scene is really impressive.

Patina, however, was recorded in New York with producer Ben Rice, but suffers from the true stories that only the independent country can give.

Poetry immersed in the life of small towns in Texas, where Kent lived.

The work begins with a beautiful and melancholic ballad, Up All Night and the intense and warm voice of John David, envelops us.

Acoustic guitar and song that we imagine listening under a porch and a sky of Texas stars.

Let it Shine, one of the singles, begins with the electric guitar, but then is wrapped in a sound between Texas and California of sun and road trip.

The voice is really remarkable and we notice it even more in the ballad with a soul flavor My Old Self, where the piano embroiders and the choirs accompany a very intense song. Going back to the simplest version of yourself seems to be the solution to which the author aspires to be happy.

Leave You Alone is a country folk, acoustic song, but, and here I repeat, it’s Kent’s singing that makes its mark. Carpet of keyboards and a beautiful poetry that takes the heart.

To break the atmosphere we think the next instrumental Hogeye, a rock and roll keyboards and guitar convincing. A work of the band that is behind Kent, really top level. Fun and very beautiful.

Sw Tx is a rock with a pulsating rhythm and soul inserts, a dedication to his land that is my favorite piece of the album.

Maybe that trip as a young man to Muscle Shoals left his magic dust on this Texan with the intense voice.

The keyboard and the dreamy ending under the stars of Marfa, Texas. Beautiful.

The most country of the lot is certainly Small Town USA, acoustic guitar and stories to tell, real life and a voice born for this. The central guitar solo takes the stage, with class and then that singing takes the soul.

In some passages we can find the way to sing stories of working people that we could find in the songs of the first Springsteen, also in the sound appeal.

The real celebration of the hard life of the worker in the small towns where he lived, is in the closing Collar Blue. Once again an acoustic ballad where the narrating voice is so intense that we seem to walk with him in the streets where the “blue collars” struggle to bring home the loaf.

It’s not so much the country sound, but the spirit, the soul of songs like these that make you think and move.

The Kent family must be really proud to have two members of this level in independent American music: John David and his younger brother Tony, who with the Whiskey Myers is now launched on a train that flies towards greater success.

An album of true stories, autobiographical or even just seen in the streets of his past.

12 songs that are country in the taste they leave on the mouth, but have within them the strength of rock and soul to accompany us.

A very welcome return to the scenes of an artist who, after having made history as a young grunge, decided to return to the music of his roots and did it with originality and a talent out of the ordinary, with a voice that can not be forgotten.

Good listening,

Trex Willer by http://www.ticinonotizie.it

(in Ticino Notizie web site you can find original italian version of this article)

Pubblicato da Trex

Sono un blogger e scrittore appassionato di musica indipendente americana. Scrivo gialli polizieschi e ho inventato il personaggio del detective texano Cody Myers.

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