Guthrie Kennard – Matchbox
All I can say is that my radar must be set pretty high because I realized lately a lot of great music and musicians has been flying under my radar and that includes an artist I’ve been listening to this week Guthrie Kennard. Kennard is a Texas singer-songwriter who’s been around since he came west from Richmond, Virginia in, oh, 1968! He started his career playing with The Smokin’ Joe Kubiak Band and in the following years he recorded with Smokin’ Joe and Doyle Bramlet and opened for artists like Robin Trower, John Mayall, Taj Mahal, Leon Russell and Donovan. In addition he toured Europe with Grammy winner Marc Benno, and co-wrote “Laverne” on Benno’s album “Snake Charmer.” He played festivals throughout Europe including most recently a 2009 appearance at the the Cork Jazz & Blues Festival in Cork Ireland.
Guthrie released his first solo CD Ranch Road 12 produced by Ray Wylie Hubbard in 2006. Subsequently, he has released two more CDs Unmade Beds released in October 2009 and Matchbox also produced by Ray Wylie Hubbard which was recently released in 2010. Currently, Matchbox is number 17 on the FAR Radio chart and number 2 on the Euro-Americana Chart . I had noticed the album on both charts but the after seeing it the other day of the FAR Chart, I checked out Rhapsody. They didn’t have Matchbox, but did have Ranch Road 12 so I put it on the player and listened to it over the first part of the week, by the end of the week I went to Amazon and bought Matchbox! Both albums are really good! Here’s a quote from Guthrie’s website concerning his music:
With a voice that recalls Bob Dylan and Keith Richards, Kennard spins his tales of rural disaffection against a backdrop of rough-hewed melodies and backwoods percussion, classic Texas music, a soundtrack to the Hill Country, and the slow country songs sound like a drive on patchy, paved roads that lead to all sorts of interesting places. – Darryl Smyers, Dallas Observer
I would add that the influences of Ray Wylie Hubbard are also noted on both albums. There are lots of good songs on both albums so I won’t bore you by recounting all of my favorites. I think I like Matchbox better than Ranch Road 12. You can read more about Matchbox on the news page of his website. Since I’ve been listening to Matchbox today, I will say that my favorite songs from that CD include “Monkey Wrench” and ode to a female auto mechanic which for me has a real Ray Wylie Hubbard feel and that’s not a bad thing! “Catfish Fishin'” is another standout track along with “Streets of Juarez” a song about the Day of the Dead celebrations in Juarez. See I knew if I started saying anything about the tracks, I’d be writing about all the tracks. So just check out the WHOLE album! As for me I have Unmade Beds to check out!
Here’s a performance at Bill’s Records of “Monkey Wrench”