Kenny Shore – Time Stands Still
This set is basically grounded in soulful troubadour soil. Somewhat in an Eric Andersen, David Blue & Jim Lampos tradition. Kenny Shore unravels little story songs with simple melodies, monochrome vocalizing with sincerity & tenderness. All laid out clean with acoustic guitars & punctuated with some deep baritone sax (Danny Abrams) on “Put Yourself In My Shoes,” which leavens the song with sensibility.
With the addition of banjo & lap steel “Wander Around,” continues with a John Prine radiance. Nice stuff. This is what should run through your memory as you listen to Shore’s atmospheric tune.
Time Stands Still (Drops Nov 4–Independent) offers 12 tunes & 41-minutes of relaxing melodies & escape. The set was recorded at The Rubber Room in Chapel Hill, NC & produced by Jerry Brown (banjo).
Each song has a wealth of catchy scenarios & “She’s Broken,” is poignant lyrically as well as melodically. The songs trigger a groove as the tunes move along like a riverboat on the Mississippi in another era. Shore’s bare vocal comes from a deep well of experience.
Some are typical but it’s how Shore shapes them with his compositional style that enlivens them & he delivers each gratifyingly. A little rockier is “Don’t Ever Say My Name,” which is a little more biting but hey, not every relationship works smoothly & sometimes we speak through anger. Shore’s exuberance in this song is genuine & relatable. The smooth Hammond organ accompanied by soaring lap steel is chillingly good. At the same time, this is different from many mainstream songs & to my ears it’s gold.
“Able To Try,” skips along powerfully in a Van Morrison groove & Kenny does an exemplary job with additional vocals by Taz Halloween colored with wonderful baritone sax, Hammond organ & acoustic guitar. Excellent, excellent stuff. “Almost Like Heaven,” & “Time Stands Still” are pure hat-tips to John Prine — done respectfully as well.
If he gets a little more daring & cutting edge I’d add his name to a list like Townes van Zandt, Guy Clark & the late Northern Ireland singer-songwriter David McWilliams (“Days of Pearly Spencer” “Marlena”).
Highlights: “Put Yourself In My Shoes,” “Wander Around,” “She’s Broken,” “Don’t Ever Say My Name,” “Down In Louisiana,” “Everything We Needed,” “Your Smiling Face,” “Able To Try,” & Time Stands Still.”
Musicians – Rob Ladd (drums), Robert Sledge (bass), Joseph Terrell (archtop guitar/electric Martin guitar/lap steel/bgv), Joe MacPhail (Hammond organ/pump organ/piano/percussion/drums), Lizzie Ross, & Ron Poythress (bgv), Kenny Shore (Acoustic guitar/Hammond organ/bass/standup bass/hillbilly drum kit/Pisgah banjo), Isaac Derr (high string guitar/archtop guitar/stand-up bass/bass/bgv), Danny Abrams (baritone sax/clarinet), Andrew Marlin (mandolin/octave mandolin) & Taz Halloween (vocals),
Live YouTube clip courtesy of WDVX Radio Blue Plate Special Broadcast. B&W image courtesy of Kenny’s website. CD @ https://www.kennyshore.com/
Enjoy our previous coverage here: Song Premiere: Kenny Shore “Almost Like Heaven”