Gritty, Gutty, Guthrie

"Matchbox" Cover

I will be the first to admit that of all of the music genres out there, country music ranks pretty low on my list of favorites. However, listening to Guthrie Kennard gave me a new appreciation for deep, gritty songs from the south. In Kennard’s latest album, Matchbox, the country singer/songwriter reminds me more of a traditional artist such as Hank Williams, than he does that of pop country singer Kenny Chesney. For the sake of the pure sound and vibe of the music this is a major positive. Every song sounds as if it’s being performed at small dive bar or on the porch of a Texas ranch. Previous reviewers of Guthrie have drawn comparisons to the great Bob Dylan due to his raspy vocals.
While I certainly agree their voices are similar, I only wish that Guthrie’s song writing abilities were up to snuff with that of the music legend. That is not to say that the songs on Matchbox aren’t solid and well performed, because they definitely are. The problem is that Guthrie’s songs are better suited for a setting where you are not hanging on every lyric. A cool little dive bar in south Texas with great Tex-Mex cuisine and a live performing Kennard is where these songs belong. Sadly, when listened to in a closed environment songs such as “Catfish Fishin’” and “Another Day, Another Dollar” just become genre clichés about living the ‘tough life’ and going fishing. The album is not lost though, if you are big fan of the genre, or are more interested in just listening to the sound of a song more than the words themselves then it’s a must buy.

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