Mellow can often mean bland, but it can also be deceiving. The heartfelt sincerity of Somethin’ Concrete by Joe Koenig (Official / Myspace) comes through in a mellow flow that is soulful, not shallow. The Californian considers his folk-rock/country/gospel hybrid to be a Texan form of soul. Such a description is appropriate, as Koenig spent many formative years singing in the churches of Texas as a youngster, before trekking to the sun-soaked west and venturing into the world of rock and roll with some buddies from college.
The steady diet of gospel from his youth is evident in many spots on the album. “Colors” even employs a backing gospel choir, which enhances the robust vocal performance even more at that point. The subject matter that is covered here – love, life, changes, etc… – is rather typical, but the authenticity that is given to these topics by Koenig drawing from his own experiences makes each song avoid the doldrums of mellow-for-mellow’s sake. It’s that hearty vocal tone and delivery that really shines on this collection, as it elevates the entire product and provides something fresh by simply being vulnerable and real.
About the author: I likes me some wine, women and waffles, not always in that order (but usually). Chaucer is cool, but fart jokes are even better. You feel like spikin' your country with a little soul or mix in a little rock without the roll? Lemme hear from ya!!