REVIEW: Brent Funkhouser’s “The Next Karaoke Star” is Candid Offering


Brent Funkhauser’s latest release The Next Karaoke Star is a candid offering of the mourning and sad songs Americana music fans hanker for.  The album was produced and mixed by Brent Funkhouser; mastered by Lexington Bowler with photography by Katja Wisch and cover art by Lauren Chang.

“Nobody” launches the album with a lonesome harmonica and campfire guitar.  “Nobody wants to hear no damn guitars,” is the refrain here that rings all so true, especially this year.

“Back on the Horse” is an uplifting anthem to a downfall, with slide guitar and piano and pops of alto saxophone.  This song is the highlight of the album, with hints of Billy Joel influences but with more truth telling about life’s dark side.

Then “The Blues, Mary,” is a Brian Fallon cover with some extra layers on piano, pedal steel and vocals to create a rockin’ original tribut.  You can hear Funkhouser pouring his soul into this one.  “Captured My Heart” is a slow tempo lament about love and a captured heart that recalls the campfire built at the beginning of the album.

Personnel on the album are: Brent Funkhouser (vocals, guitars, bass, keys, accordion, and harmonica;  Mitchell Sasser on drums; Mary Beth Logan on viola and violin; Jesse Dean on slide guitar on “Back on the Horse” and “Captured My Heart”; Jenny Woofter on vocals on “The Blues, Mary” and “Whisper in the Wind”; Ashley Everhart on alto saxophone on “Back on the Horse”; Sarah Zotian on piano on “The Blues, Mary”; and West Taylor pedal steel on “The Blues, Mary”.

Funkhouser is an Americana musician based in the Shenandoah mountains of Virginia.  The Next Karaoke Star is a raw self-produced album.  It would be nice to see what would happen to his songs in the hands of a career producer.  The album will be available on March.  Check out more here:

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