From Boston to New York City to Los Angeles, Kyle LaLone has played lead guitar and been a sought-after session man for bands probably too numerous to count. Along the way he’s mastered numerous styles and played everything from dive bars to stadiums. All those life experiences have finally pushed LaLone to release an EP of his own material, Somewhere In Between.
At its core, this is a country music record. Bolstered by long-time gig mate, Boo Bernstein, on pedal steel, LaLone leaps out of the gate with a Bakersfield twang. Think Myself To Death has that classic boom-chucka, boom-chucka drum style about overthinking things. Our Love and Warning Signs are good break-up songs, while the EP finishes with couple of drinking, well, *not* drinking songs, Always Trying To Quit and Not Gonna Drink Over You. There’s a lot of life been lived in those 5 songs, and worth your time to check out when you’re ready to get your twang on.
Also from California, but to the north in Tahoe, comes a new EP from Dead Winter Carpenters, Sinners ‘n’ Freaks. Known more for their live performances, they’re building a good repertoire of well-written songs that will carry them far past the festival scene. Cornerstone is a country song, but not quite country music. It’s the reminisce of a family’s journey through life and the people who anchor it. Time Off the Bottle features fiddle player Jenni Charles on lead vocals smartly suggesting we all need “time to heal, time to mend.”
The band also takes the opportunity to stretch out a bit. The title track gets into a jam band groove, and features Jackie Greene on Hammond B3. Greene also guests on Green Room Baby, a blues swing song that could have come from the Blues Brothers Musical Revue. It showcases bass player Jeremy Plog laying down a bottom end that would have made Duck Dunn proud. Whether you like well-crafted singer-songwriter ballads or are ready to get your jam on, Sinners ‘n’ Freaks has something worth checking out.
About the author: I've actually driven from Tehatchapee to Tonopah. And I've seen Dallas from a DC-9 at night.