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Kevin Denney

Kevin Denney – 2002 (Lyric Street)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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Kickstart Country Standard Time to Nashville

CDs by Kevin Denney

Based on the single, "That's Just Jessie," getting airplay, Kevin Denney probably would be considered a mainstream country artist. But "Correct Me If I'm Right" "Cadillac Tears" and "Ain't Skeered" indicate an artist more steeped in the morTs of Texas honky tonk and traditional country sounds.

Denney is the beneficiary of good material - he wrote 4 of the 11 songs - and of strong voice. Jim Lauderdale is a ready reference point. So is George Strait, which puts Denney in good company, but he is up to the task in a bunch of story songs, something missing in many country songs today. The rave-up "Ain't Skeered" follows an elementary school tyke who finally gets his girl in high school and elopes. Denney can hold notes and put the right amount of twang into the lyrics. Especially on his own "My Kind of Song" where he sings "I'm talking Strait to Jones" and doesn't sound like a name dropper.

Producer Leigh Reynolds lets the usual cast of studio pros do their thing, mainly keeing it nice and twangy ("Takin' Off the Edge"). There's a lot more to Denney's debut than one radio ready song. Forget the mainstream because his abilities in traditional sounds are quite readily apparent.