Big Kenny

The Quiet Times of a Rock and Roll Farm Boy

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The Big & Rich camp decreed that 2009 was the year of solo projects, with John Rich taking the spring for Son of a Preacher Man and Big Kenny getting the fall for The Quiet Times of a Rock and Roll Farmboy, his first album since Live a Little. If that record -- recorded in 1999 but not released until 2005, after Big & Rich turned into stars -- veered toward big-budget studio rock, The Quiet Times does have a stronger country bent, containing lots of fiddles and guitars, even odes to being back down home. Despite all of this, The Quiet Times doesn't feel particularly country: like Live a Little, it exists in a curious netherworld between genres, willfully eclectic without a unifying vision and lacking a focus given by hooks. That messiness could also be a reflection of how the album was cut at Big Kenny's home studio and released on his own label: it's a pet project that contains no doorway into his world, and unless you're on his wavelength -- and can stomach his exaggerated crooning -- it's a pretty alienating ride.

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