Singer/songwriter Cooper Kenward brings the intimacy of country ballads into a folk rock setting on Glass Mountain Rodeo’s eponymous debut. In his stories about middle-class heroes, love, loss and nostalgia persist, but from the perspective of a guitarist with an ear for edgy harmonies and subtle production. Each of the ten tracks have a solid foundation of honest telecaster riffs that alternate with tremulous vocals. And the soulful drumming of Jason Slota and modern production stylings of Robert Shelton give the album a wide range of feeling and a live-sounding glow.
At times, the orchestration behind the country soul foundation comes into the foreground. You’ll hear trombone, pedal steel, organ, bass clarinet and the occasional synth. Most tunes are made for dancing, others are poignant and misty. But through Kenward’s guitar playing (like a young Neil Young's) and his vocal fill-ins (like an old Bob Dylan's) the vision of Glass Mountain Rodeo is clear — bring together a diverse group of music appreciators and give them music to drink to.
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