Monday, August 12, 2013

REVIEW: Kent Goolsby - Trophies of Youth

Imagine driving all day in the summer heat with no air conditioning.  Night is falling.  You are tired, hungry and thirsty.  And your mood reflects this morning's conversation with your until-recently-(maybe/sorta)-girlfriend in which she emphasized that you were at least two chances beyond that "last chance" you had begged for.  OK, so you are very thirsty.  You pull into a roadhouse with a sign advertising food, booze and music (assuming the missing letters are as you suspect).  The question is, what kind of music do you want (assume Thievery Corporation is not available)?

I want Kent Goolsby and his band, The Folks.  I want them on stage a long time while I eat what my body needs and drink what my head needs.  And I want to hear every song from Trophies of Youth, because that's what my soul needs.  Ten tracks of roadhouse romps and gritty blues inflected rock/soul voiced in a gravelly, soulful croon may not be enough to mend me, but it would be a welcome start.  The subjects are timeless and personal, and the tone is sincere.  I'm pretty sure that at such a time, hearing someone else face life and respond with wisdom, truth, recognition of reality and humor makes me believe that I'll get through this too.  I hear about a "Natural Disaster" (fatherhood - ouch), "Jesus Is My Landlord" and the glorious depiction of live devoted to rock and roll -- "Rags to Rags" ("this life ain't rags to riches, more like rags to rags ... the spirit is willing but the flesh is lazy").

For this album, Kent E. Goolsby, or "KEG", and The Folks, benefited from the playing and production contributions of fellow Murfreesboro resident Joey Kneiser.  The production is superb.  All the instrumental and vocal contributions "pop" as if live, while none of the essential grit wiped away.  The Folks are terrific: Steve Daly and his multitude of guitar voices, Dan Eubanks with an authoritative bass and Shakey Fowlkes providing a rock-solid anchor on drums.  KEG himself on piano reminds this old guy of Leon Russell.  At times I think I'm hearing John Prine fronting The Band.  And speaking of old, KEG proves himself to be an old soul for modern times.  That is more than good enough for all of us.  Highly recommended stuff, people.

Trophies of Youth is out now on This Is American Music.

This Is American Music

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