Interviews Kevn Kinney

No speed limit for Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ By Rachel Sullivan - Special to The Telegraph

Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ is releasing its first new album, “The Great American Bubble Factory,” in 12 years.

In a recent phone interview, Kevn Kinney (guitar and vocals) talked about what’s been going on for the past decade. The band released an album in 1997, and had plans to follow up with a new album in 2001.

“We got together and recorded one,” Kinney explained. “It was good stuff — about struggling through middle America, problems with the political administration, things like that. We finished recording on Sept. 10, 2001.” There was a long moment of silence. “After the next morning, when the whole world changed, we decided that it wasn’t the right time to put that album out.”

In the meantime, many of the band’s members worked on different projects. Kinney, who had been responsible for getting the band together in 2001, got a call to get the band back together and into the studio.

“We got together in Tim’s (Nielsen) basement and got to pretend that we were a garage band again,” Kinney said, laughing. “We used some songs from the 2001 album, wrote some new stuff. We wanted an optimistic sound. Times are tough, but it feels like things are looking better than they have in a long time.”

Kinney, along with Nielsen (bass, mandolin and backing vocals), Mac Carter (guitar) and Dave V. Johnson (drums, percussion and backing vocals), are releasing the 12-song album with the

hopes that it will make people think. Ironically, Kinney said that a lot of songs were inspired by memories of his childhood in the ’70s, when America was undergoing similar economic troubles to now. But that might just be perfect.

“The album is a reminder that in times like these, it’s family and relationships that are important. The hard times define what really matters — and it’s not the second car,” he said. Kinney quoted a lyric from the song “The Hardest Part”: “The hardest part in the end keeps us together.”

When asked what it was like to be recording again with his old bandmates, Kinney sounded amused.

“It’s like a time machine, actually. We get the chance to relive some of the past, only we really appreciate the perks this time,” he said.

The album is filled with classic DNC sounds — punk, folk, Southern rock. According to Kinney, it’s the same formula, only a little more mature.

Kinney promises that the concert will be worth concertgoers’ time and expense.

“We never play from a playlist, we just follow the audience. Shout out anything from our albums, and we can play it,” he said. “We’ll definitely be playing our hits, but the new stuff will be woven in. It will be a fantastic experience.”


What: Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ in concert with Hank Vegas opening

When: 8 p.m.

Where: Cox Capitol Theatre, 382 Second St.

Phone: 257-6391

Cost: Reserved cocktail seating $50; general admission seating $20 advance, $25 day of show