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Mulehead

The Gospel Accordion II – 1999 (HTS Recordings)

Reviewed by Michael Berick

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CDs by Mulehead

Mulehead might not make the best neighbors. They sound a little unruly, a little ragged. Their music is too loud for the front porch and too boisterous for the garage - but it does catch your ear.

Mulehead headman Kevin Kerby writes and sings in a casual, off-handed style that disguises a surprising depth to his writing. Reflecting an upbringing where his family liked hell-raisin' and religion, his songs deal in matters sacred and profane - referring to both churches and liquor stores. He even pens a tongue-in-cheek apologia for Pontius Pilate. Kerby continues the age-old artistic inner struggle between the good life and the Good book.

More than a one-man band, the Arkansas-based Mulehead boasts of Dave Raymond's raucous guitar work, Geoff Curran's jubilant drumming and Brent Labeau's versatile skills on the banjo, the lap steel, the bass and the Wurlitzer. They fuel Mulehead with a sound that funnels elements of country blues, honky tonk country and even bluegrass through Southern rock and provide a raw-but-right foundation for Kerby's slightly bleary-eyed musings on life. (HTS, 1011 W. 6th St., #8, Little Rock, AR 722201)