Friday, January 25, 2008

Where Are They Now?--Drivin N Cryin

Drivin N Cryin was basically a college band in the mid-'80s South that surfaced nationally for a brief stint in the early '90s, beginning with their 1990 release Fly Me Courageous. MTV gave the videos for the title track and "Build A Fire" (especially "Build A Fire") quite a lot of air time. The follow-up album Smoke (1993) was a mild success, and then they largely faded out of the national spotlight.

So, how to describe Drivin N Cryin? Maybe southern-fried pop with a heavy metal influence... Or, rather a hybrid form of southern rock with heavy metal influence, but a pop sensibility... whatever it was, I liked it.

Their rise to some prominence definitely followed the same post-hair-metal era (ushered in by Guns N' Roses, when Axl let his hair down) opening that the Black Crowes ('Best New American Band' of 1990 according to Rolling Stone's readers poll) rushed through. In fact, the introductory guitar hook of the album-opener "Around The Block Again" sounds ripped right out of the Black Crowes playbook. (Of course, the Black Crowes playbook is more or less lifted directly from the Rolling Stones, as percolated through a combination Lynyrd Skynyrd/Aerosmith filter). In any event, the second track "Chain Reaction" and particularly the album-closing "Rush Hour" both have riffs that would've been quite comfortable on a Megadeth album! The mid-section of the album includes a couple songs ("For You", "Let's Go Dancing" and to some extent "The Innocent") that emphasize the lighter edge ("cryin' side") of their music. Throughout the entire album, however, the melodies are never lost--even in the heaviest of their "drivin' side" moments.

And, let me just say here that lead singer/guitarist Kevin Kinney has one hell of a cool voice. Love it!

Kinney also wrote the band's lyrics, which have been described as Dylan-influenced. Of course, most of the lyrics of any note in the last 45 years have been Dylan-influenced to some degree or another. I don't think I'm 100% convinced I would jump to the "Dylanesque" tag, on this album at least. But, there are some lyrical moments I enjoy: "Lost in the middle, but I kept my shuffle/Stuck in the Blues, but I just kept jokin'/In the city where all schemes are tested/So many names, so many numbers/So much to do, but I never felt so lonely" ("Lost In The Shuffle") and "I stopped a freight train with a grain of sand/Can't you hear it crashing?/I split a mountain in two with a flake of snow/Still they won't believe me" ("Let's Go Dancing") are two examples.

Rediscover this disc...it's a pretty cool ride.

Around The Block Again
Chain Reaction
Fly Me Courageous
Look What You've Done To Your Brother
For You
Let's Go Dancing
The Innocent
Together
Lost In The Shuffle
Build A Fire
Rush Hour

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5 Comments:

Blogger Keith Kennedy said...

Great band in the Alman Brothers tradition. Haven't thought of them in years. Think I'll go dig out a disc or two.

11:26 AM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger Old Lady said...

Now you two should talk. He is on my list at my site as Bullet Holes in the Mailbox. This is his discovery of Drivin and Cryin through the solo's of Kinny. I will refer him to you as well.

Bulletholes

8:40 AM, January 28, 2008  
Blogger steve said...

ol Lady has some memory....i listened to Kinny's "Mcdougal Blues" just this weekend!
If you will put him on your Music list, Hahnster, then there will be two of us!
I still haven't got myself a D&C Cd...

10:38 AM, January 28, 2008  
Blogger steve said...

As a matter of fact, on kevin's site, it shows there will be a Drivin' and Cryin show in Duluth at the Leapin' Leprichaun....how far is that from Fort Worth?

12:09 PM, January 28, 2008  
Blogger Old Lady said...

They play all over the place here.

1:00 PM, January 28, 2008  

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