Rarely these days (okay, okay, extremely never) does a fellow in my self-elevated field get to expound upon his first review of such 'n such artist. Usually it's the other way around - revision, redacting - trying to be civil while skulking away from the hot glare of those first glowing reviews. But Kendel Carson is hot and civil, standing squarely and most naturally in the spotlight, a lethal mix that, at 24, is still coming into its own distinct brew.
You won't find a clunker track on *Alright Dynamite* her expansively solid follow-up to the excellent promise of her 2007 debut Rearview Mirror Tears(reviewed here). Sure Submarine forces the slinky minx point to the too-clever limit and some of the double entendres smirk for smirking sakes, but from the heated invite of Oh Baby Lie Down through the sassy 'n sexy Belt Buckle and the ruminative refrain "Prettiest of colors/saddest of times" from One Blue Dress on the Line puts the girl on point, supremely confident of the outcome. Not only does she sing like warm honey and write with a youthful edginess, she stands hi-heel to sneaker on fiddle with Taylor's usual, stoic studio suspects, namely John Platania, Bryan Owings, Tony Mercadante, and Ron Eoff, gents who have made the likes of Emmylou, Van, and Delbert McClinton shine.
Yes I know a handful of ne'er do wells and conspiracists who think Chip Taylor's mentoring of another young fiddler/songstress (Carrie Rodriguez, anyone?) is a might creepy (they could reference the video of Cowboy Boots (Another Day Shopping) for hard evidence), but they're a fringe group at best and honestly, who cares when the music is so, consensual.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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