The good thing about Americana is that it is a pretty all-encompassing term. It can range from country and bluegrass to jazz. Story of My Life by Kevin West is an album that embraces a lot of the various facets (including jazz in the last two songs) of Americana.
The EP kicks off with “Best of Mine”. This upbeat song is driven by the beat that makes it impossible to remain still. Even if you’re hearing it for the first time, there is something familiar about this song. When you focus and think about it, you realize that the familiarity is in the tone of the guitar, which is pretty similar to Mark Knopfler.
West’s vocals occasionally have a similar quality to Dave Matthews. You can hear it particularly in the breathy delivery in “One Too Many”. This song has the familiar theme of a regretful day after a night of drinking. The narrator admits that he woke up in the afternoon after having “one too many and then one more” the previous evening. In the instrumental break, Jonathan Lovett injects some soul into the song with a bright organ part. West’s vocal delivery isn’t the only similarity to Dave Matthews Band, You can also hear it in the jam-band feel toward the end of “Sweet Innocence”.
“My Only Sunshine” features some pedal steel and a shuffling beat that would get people moving on a scuffed hardwood dance floor. On top of that, it includes some incisive lyrics. “When I’m right I’m still wrong. She makes that clear. But I still get the last word when I say ‘Yes, dear.’” The overall tone is pretty warm and easygoing. You might call this a honky-tonk tune with a healthy dose of laid-back California mood.
While some albums are great for driving or blaring out your windows, this album is the perfect soundtrack for lying in the shade of a tree on a sunny summer day. With only six songs, this EP leaves you wanting more of the clean guitar tones and good stories in the songs. Story of My Life was released on June 15 and is available everywhere now. Order your copy here.