Big Kenny - The Quiet Times of a Rock and Roll Farm Boy
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The Quiet Times of a Rock and Roll Farm Boy (Bigger Picture, 2009)

Big Kenny

Reviewed by Tim Johnson

Big Kenny Alphin's first solo project since joining forces with John Rich, can be accurately described as a grower - and that's not just because the CD comes in a paper jewel case that can actually be planted to grow flowers. While certain songs, especially Be Back Home and Share the Love, have immediate appeal, the album as a whole is best appreciated after many spins. As one would expect from a guy who has made "Love Everybody" his rallying cry, the peace and love flow freely on the album, and while some of it feels a bit flaky, lines like (on Less Than Whole) - "There ain't nothing like forgiveness to resurrect a broken soul/It's even better to give than to get it/I've been forgiven, so I should know" - seem to flow from some serious life experience.

Alphin takes some risks, and these don't always pan out. Drifter sounds like Jack White on a bad day. But sometimes they do, especially To Find a Heart, which has the lovely laid-back feel of the best 1970's Eagles-style rockabilly. The 11th track, The Whole Experience, is in fact a replay of the entire album, but with the weirdo shout outs and segues that set a typical Big and Rich album apart - one gets the feeling that if Big Kenny had his way, this would have been the only version of the album released. All in all, a very nice effort, although one does miss those sweet, sweet harmonies with John Rich.

CDs by Big Kenny

The Quiet Times of a Rock and Roll Farm Boy, 2009

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