The Great Southern Brainfart review of Kevn solo show

Kevn Kinney – Tellin’ Stories In The Attic

Kevn Kinney May 06, 2010 Eddies Attic – Decatur, GA

One of the perks to living back in Atlanta is the number of opportunities to see Drivin N Cryin and Kevn Kinney shows.  Just since I’ve been back in GA I’ve seen two Drivin N Cryin shows and a solo Kevn Kinney show at Eddie’s Attic May 6th.  I was beside myself for the better part of a week as this would be my first solo Kevn show in a few years to be honest.  It saddens me that I couldn’t even count how many years it had been but all of that was about to be remedied as the day arrived.

Eddie’s Attic is a cool little room in Decatur that boasts a “shhh” policy (no talking during the show) so right away I knew this was going to be a great night.  So many times have I seen Kevn performing solo to chatty, drunken crowds so I was really looking forward to it.  At about 9pm, Kevn just made his way through the audience with his cup of Starbucks coffee and took the stage.  The room was about 3/4 full as he took his seat and in true Kevn fashion addressed the audience as if we were just a handful of friends hanging out in his living room.  He went right into “Song For Me” which had the hair on my arms standing up.  His voice was so pure and powerful and I just melted into the song as I felt like I was coming home again.  A seguay into “Macdougal Blues” drew a loud roar of approval from the audience and there was Kevn, in the zone and taking us all with him.  Kevn was in great from and he told some great stories in between songs that really engaged me.  Kevn has a way of making you feel like you are the only one in the room as he’s telling stories and playing.  “I See Georgia” from the latest Drivin’ N Cryin’ album “Whatever Happened To The Great American Bubble Factory” was another journey that had me feeling like I was swept away into the story and the song.  The way he longs and misses Georgia comes through in his delivery.

While the set was dominated by Kevn’s solo material such as Time, Midwestern Blues and The House Above Tina’s Grocery, Kevn also delivered a couple of “spoken word” pieces which added a seldom seen but much welcomed element to his performance.  I hadn’t heard some of these songs in years but the real highlight to me was the title track from his upcoming solo album “Pre Approve, Pre Denied.”  Once again, Kevn has delivered a song that brings a strong sense of awareness that both angered me and made me appreciate how he’s still the “little guy’s” performer.  Just the to hear him say the line “the working class is under attack” is enough to bring your blood to a boil.  The power of songwriting and performance is a power the Kevn not only possess but one he utilizes time and time again.  Maybe it’s because he’s seen that side of the tracks more times than we think he has.

The show concluded with a face melting “No Blues” from his “Broken Hearts & Auto Parts” album and with a newer tune called “Which Jesus.”  “Which Jesus” is a current Kevn song that I’ve already deemed a classic.  He tells a great story of how as a young man he was being yelled at by Christians in the back of a pick up truck asking him if he’d been saved.  Kevn goes on to say that “The Catholic Jesus I know doesn’t yell.  Hell, he’d give me star just for staying awake during mass.”  The song goes on to talk about all the different Jesus’ ending with Kevn saying “The Jesus that I know goes to Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ shows and yells “Straight To Hell” at the top of his lungs!” and without pausing goes right into the Drivin’ N Cryin’ classic “Straight To Hell.”  This is one of those songs that no matter how many times you hear him do it, it never gets old.  It’s a classic song in it’s own right that holds so many different memories for many people.  Hell, it’s one of the greatest drinking songs of all time.

As the show drew to a close, I approached Kevn and thanked him for such a great show.  He just smiled and said, “Thank YOU Don de Leaumont!” and patted me on the back.  With not much else to say, I made my way to the car where I sat at the wheel for about 5 minutes before starting it up.  I just thought to myself with a mix of emotions about what I had just seen.  I’ve been seeing Kevn for nearly 20 years either solo or with Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ and it still boggles my mind as to why this guy isn’t huge.  Kevn Kinney is a true American Icon.  He’s a piece of Americana history that is just tucked away and hidden only to be found by those that dig deep or that hear of his greatness word of mouth.  Kevn isn’t the rock star type but I still can’t help but wish that more people know just how great he is.  Kevn Kinney has so much to say and I challenge anyone to not find a song by this man that connects with them on some level.  On this night in Decatur, GA. I drove home with a smile on my face, a song or two in my head and feeling inspired just as I always do after seeing Kevn perform.  Whenever I see a Kevn show, I am reminded why I play the music that I do and why I love it so much.  I am also reminded about how important it is to engage your audience and take them on the journey with you, not to leave them behind.  It’s a journey I’ve been on many times over and while path slightly varies, it always takes me to where I want and need to go.

Kevn Kinney May 06, 2010 Eddies Attic – Decatur, GA

Song For Me> Macdougal Blues Lets Go Dancin’ I See Georgia> Honeysuckle Blue> I See Georgia Poem: Athletes Getting High Poem: If Buddha Had A Torque Wrench Peacemaker Time PreApproved PreDenied The House Above Tina’s Grocery Midwestern Blues Ain’t Waitin On Tomorrow Poem: Challenge No Blues Which Jesus> Straight To Hell