Show review and photo by Brian DeSpain
Aaron Lee Tasjan and Kevn Kinney of Drivin N Cryin kicked off a six show tour in Tulsa, taking turns playing songs in an in-the-round format. In most cases, each artist provided accompaniment to the other’s song performance.
Some deep cuts and audience request were performed on the twenty-five song set. It was a great collaboration. Kinney served as a mentor to Tasjan earlier in his career, and Tasjan produced Drivin N Cryin’s 2019 album Live The Love Beautiful.
Tasjan is having his best musical year racking up accolades and landing on numerous end of year lists with his 2021 album Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan! and wrapping that around into 2022. He also landed a Grammy nomination for a co-write with Yola, Natalie Hemby and Dan Auerbach for “Diamond Studded Shoes” on Yola’s 2021 album Stand For Myself.
There was a pretty strong showing of hardcore fans, especially since Cody Jinks was performing down the street from the Mercury Lounge.
Kinney started out with “Trail of Seasons” from 2000’s The Flower and The Knife. “It’s always nice to see an old friend again” lyrics certainly fit the mood for the evening with the past collaborations of Tasjan and Kinney.
Tasjan started out with a shout out to his home state with “Ohio” from 2008’s Don’t Feed The Pig by Madison Square Gardeners, a band where he was a former member.
“Ian McLagan” came next from Kinney on 2019’s Live the Love Beautiful and Tasjan shifted over to piano for “The Rest Is Yet To Come” from 2018’s Karma For Cheap.
ALT shifted to electric guitar, joining Kinney on “Let’s Go Dancing” from 1991’s Fly Me Courageous and hopped back over to piano for “Twelve Bar Blues” from 2016’s breakout album Silver Tears.
Kinney sang about a different blues, the title song from MacDougal Blues (1990). Then Tasjan shared an amusing story as background for his “East Nashville Song About A Train.” There was a petition circulating about banning trains from going through East Nashville. According to Tasjan, “They banned the band Train from East Nashville. The wording was that close. Then they were mad about that.”
“Pre-Approved Pre-Denied” the title song from Kinney’s Acoustic Sketchbook and Words project (2009) preceded ALT’s next number. Possibly sardonically, ALT said “I Love America Better Than You” (Silver Tears) is his most apolitical song because he looks at it from both sides.
Next comes a song from Kinney’s band Drivin N Cryin on 1989’s album Mystery Road. “House For Sale” is about an eccentric who, after placing things in his yard, went to jail for his sense of art. On Tasjan’s turn he paired up with “Cartoon Music” from his new album.
The next song was quite a curveball. Kevn Kinney mentions a song he recorded with The Golden Palominos. There is a shock value when you think you have every one of their albums and learn there is another. “Southwestern State” appears on 2012’s Good Country Mile (Kevn Kinney & The Golden Palominos). ALT performs a second song in a row from the new album, “Don’t Overthink It”.
Kinney and Tasjan trade “Honeysuckle Blue” from Mystery Road and “Get Gone” from the 2015 EP In The Blazes.
Kinney mentions the next song on the set, “Forty Miles of Mountain Road” was part of the last guitar work by Allen Woody, a member of the Allman Brothers. The song appears on The Flowers and The Knife. Woody passed away in 2000. ALT’s “Memphis Train” from Silver Tears follows.
“Sometimes I Wish I Didn’t Care” was Kinney’s next choice, most recently appearing on Live The Love Beautiful. He mentioned Elizabeth Cook does guest vocals on the recording. An audience member requests “Don’t Walk Away (I’m Talking To You)” from Tasjan’s Crooked River Burning (2014). He continued to talk while he was tuning the guitar and dove right into the song. For those new to Tasjan’s music, this is his decidedly more folk song period.
“This Town” (The Flower And The Knife) follows by Kinney with “Hard Life” (Silver Tears) from Tasjan.
Kinney plays the last three in the set: a song “Over and Over” is about finding his first cassette, Scarred But Smarter, at a Goodwill in Winston-Salem, then “Turn Up The Song On The Radio” and “Straight To Hell” – about a Romeo & Juliet story where the lovers work at different Waffle Houses.
This was the first time Kevn Kinney performed in Tulsa. From observing the crowd, many were transfixed by his appearance. Speaking to some newcomers, Aaron Lee Tasjan made indelible impressions with them.
Enjoy our interview of Kevn from this same night, here: Interview: Kevn Kinney
Find Kinney’s tour dates and info here: https://www.drivinncryin.com/kevn-solo
Aaron Lee Tasjan’s information is here: https://www.aaronleetasjan.com
KK: Trail of Seasons (Flower And The Knife, 2000)
ALT: Ohio (Don’t Name the Pig, )Madison Square Gardeners
KK: Ian McLagan (Live The Love Beautiful, 2019) Drivin N Cryin
ALT: The Rest Is Yet to Come (Karma For Cheap, 2018)
KK: Let’s Go Dancing (Fly Me Courageous, 1991) Drivin N Cryin
ALT: Twelve Bar Blues (Silver Tears. 2016)
KK: MacDougal Blues (MacDougal Blues, 1990)
ALT: ENSAAT [East Nashville Song About A Train] (In The Blazes, 2015)
KK: Pre-Approved Pre-Denied (Pre-approved Pre-Denied: Acoustic Sketchbook and Words, 2009)
ALT: I Love America Better Than You (Silver Tears)
KK: House for Sale (Mystery Road, 1989)Drivin N Cryin
ALT: Cartoon Music (Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan!, 2021)
KK: Southwestern State (Kevn Kinney & The Golden Palominos, 2012)
ALT: Don’t Overthink It (Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan!)
KK: Honeysuckle Blue (Mystery Road, 1989)Drivin N Cryin
ALT: Get Gone (In the Blazes, 2015)
KK: Forty Miles Of Mountain Road (Flower And The Knife)
ALT: Memphis Rain (Silver Tears)
KK: Sometimes I Wished I Didn’t Care (Live The Love Beautiful)
ALT: Don’t Walk Away (I’m Talking to You) Crooked River Burning, 2014
KK: This Town (Flower And The Knife)
ALT: Hard Life (Silver Tears)
KK: Over and Over (Live the Love Beautiful)
KK: Turn Up The Song On The Radio
KK: Straight To Hell (Flower And The Knife)