Low, Slow and oh so Mellow.
With a long career under his belt, this self-titled collection is Roby’s seventh solo album. It is deep and introspective, with Roby’s well-worn, seasoned voice befitting his laments of troubled times, which range from slow dirge to relatively speaking, slightly more upbeat yeehaw drawls.
Roby is joined by a wealth of musicians and special guests who bring light and shade to his often dark and complex subject matter. One or two of his influences show through. Particularly Elvis Costello on ‘Only Once‘ and ‘I Don’t Believe It’s Magic‘. Accompanied by Amy Helm (daughter of Levon) on harmony vocals, the latter’s chorus is uncannily reminiscent of ‘So Like Candy‘ (Paul McCartney/Elvis Costello). Helm also works her magic in ‘New Day‘, where her seemingly double-tracked harmony vocals bring a beautiful gospel choir sound to compliment Roby’s strong melody in this reworking of a previous release.
They don’t come any deeper in mood or vocal prowess than ‘I Call Everybody Buddy‘. Not one for the faint-hearted, this song will not lighten a dark mood. But, on the other hand, with its whistling bridge, ‘Working On a New House‘ takes a more positive and strident turn as it tells about moving on. In a similar vein, ‘Leave it Behind‘ also looks to the future with the help of Dori Freeman and her light, fresh vocal.
There is beauty and wistfulness to Kenny Roby, but it is buried under a veil of woe, making this album a bit of a slow burner. However, stick with it, and Roby’s artistry shines through this wonderfully well-recorded and produced collection.
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