Kevn Kinney – A Good Country Mile

January 01, 1970



Kevn Kinney has followed a tangled path ever since his days
with Drivin’ N’ Cryin’, veering from plaintive folk to Dylanesque deliberation,
without ever fully grasping that which was needed to reclaim his former


That’s all remedied with A
Good Country Mile
, a collaboration with the Golden Palominos’ Anton Fier,
and his first solo effort since 2002’s Broken
Hearts and Auto Parts.
Having evolved into a seasoned Southern troubadour,
Kinney has embraced the authority that comes with that distinction, and on
songs such as the rampaging “Gotta Move On (Again),” the unmistakably assertive
“Challenge,” the blistering “Hurricane” and the riff-heavy “Wild Dog Moon Pt.
2,” he’s clearly comfortable occupying that role. Even so, the second half of
the record is where Kinney finds his voice, a high plaintive musing that brings
to mind to mind the fragility of Jayhawks’ Mark Olson and the tender trappings
of the Avett Brothers. At nine minutes, the title track might initially seem
overlong, but its bittersweet reflection makes it as affecting and endearing as
anything heard from either Kinney or his alt-country brethren in many a moon.
Likewise, a searing “Bird,” clocking in at nearly as long, ranks as not only
one of the album’s highlights, but another indelible imprint at that, its
resounding refrain boosting it to standards status. “Set in Stone” falls neatly
into Jayhawks territory, but it also captures that anthemic ring that
distinguished “Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ early on. For that matter, the same could be
said of the mournful “Southwestern State.”. Given this abundance of riches,
Kinney’s time off was clearly well spent.


Having regrouped and refocused, and at the risk of evoking
one pun too many, suffice it to say A
Good Country Mile
extends well beyond anything he’s managed before.


Country Mile,” “A Southwestern State,” “Bird” LEE ZIMMERMAN


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