Drivin’ N’ Cryin’
A full two decades-and-change ago, Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ was one of the leading voices of a new Southern music movement, a charge that dispelled the star-and-bars country rock grind of the Lynyrd Skynyrd generation and all of its country-rock outgrowth by borrowing equally from folk, rock, punk, Americana and assorted roots music inspirations.
At the height of the band’s critical and commercial heyday, a period that coincided with its three finest albums — 1988’s Whisper Tames the Lion, 1989’s Mystery Road and 1991’s Fly Me Courageous — Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ chieftain Kevn Kinney and his co-horts scored serious airtime at rock radio to challenge the ghosts of Skynyrd.
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The band began a slow fade after that, with Kinney alternating Drivin’ duties with solo albums, the finest being 1990’s extraordinary, acoustic driven MacDougal Blues. But Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ ramped and amped back up to full strength for a set of four indie EP discs that were released in rapid succession between June 2012 and January 2014. A vinyl-only distillation of those recordings, Best of Songs, was issued last year.
Kinney and the current Drivin’ N Cryin’ crew — the veteran rhythm section of bassist Tim Nielsen and drummer Dave V. Johnson and 2014 lead guitar recruit Aaron Lee Tasjan — return to town to rock the reconstituted and relocated Willie’s Locally Known Friday.
Record Store Day
10 a.m. April 16 at Sami’s The Album, 315 S. Limestone. 859-225-9059.
That Drivin’ N’ Cryin’s newest work is exactly that — a vinyl-only, old school album release — speaks to the day at hand. That day, arriving Saturday, is Record Store Day.
On one hand, Record Store Day is a pure exercise in commerce. But it really supersedes that. With record stores becoming more and more niche operations as opposed to commercial epicenters for the record buying public, as they were in past decades, artists new and old have devoted a Saturday in mid-April to issue ultra-limited edition recordings exclusively on vinyl. While the practice has become a way of honoring the importance of record stores in today’s digital age, the day has also served as an outward reflection of the esteem multiple generations of recorded music lovers have held for such businesses.
Record Store Day, now in its ninth year, involves over 1,200 independent establishments in the United States and another 1,000 over the rest of the globe. Locally, three businesses participate with CD Central leading the way by presenting a full afternoon of free live music in addition to all the vinyl treats that will come and quickly go with the day.
The live music menu at CD Central for Record Store Day will feature Johnny Conqueroo (1 p.m.), frigidkitty (2 p.m.) and Palisades (3 p.m.). For more information on Record Store Day, as well as a full listing of all the special releases being planned, go to Recordstoreday.com.
Those on hand for the Mountain Stage taping earlier this month at the Singletary Center for the Arts received a very current performance snapshot of Over the Rhine. The Ohio-based husband and wife trio of Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist teamed with guitarist Brad Meinerding for a series a sublime folk reveries that sported lovely three-part harmonies, be they through originals like Suitcase and I’d Want You or a summery but despondent rendition of The Band’s It Makes No Difference.
Still in the midst of a brief acoustic tour, this Over the Rhine trio configuration performs Fridayat the Grand Theatre, 308 St. Clair St., in Frankfort (7:30 p.m. $15-$20). Call 502-352-7469 or got to Grandtheatrefrankfort.org
Judy Collins on ‘WoodSongs’
On the heels on Joan Baez’s encore performance last month at the Opera House comes the return of another vanguard grand folk stylist. On Monday, Judy Collins is back for the weekly taping of the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center, 300 East Third St.
Collins, 76, established herself with several iconic folk albums during the 1960s, the best, arguably, being 1967’s Wildflowers. In 2015, she issued a record of duet performances featuring a roster of singing partners that included Willie Nelson, Jackson Browne, Jeff Bridges, Jimmy Buffett, Glen Hansard, and Michael McDonald.
Bronx-bred songsmith Ari Hest, whose Strangers Again serves as the title tune to Collins’ duet album, will also perform on Monday (6:35 p.m., $25). Call 859-252-8888, 859-280-2218 or go to Lexingtonlyric.tix.com.
Walter Tunis has covered music for the Herald-Leader for more than 35 years.