There is nothing I enjoy more than listening to music without a single shred of expectation. And that’s exactly what happened when I took Tennessee, the new record by The Prowling Kind, for a spin.
The songs on Tennessee follow the true life story about a mom and daughter (Mickey, The Prowling Kind’s singer) on the run from her convict husband, causing them to live in hiding for the next 15 years. Heavy stuff.
Vocalist/guitarist/lyricist Mickey Pangburn fronts the Prowling Kind with drummer Jesse Pangburn, vocalist Erin Beal who also provides auxiliary instrumentation, guitarist Zach Tullis, and David Maddox on guitar and vocals. Together the groups has created a record that is very good example of how varying genres: Rock, Pop, Blues and a lil’ Folk, can live harmoniously in one sound.
During the time I spent with the songs I was continually surprised. “After all”,the first track on the album, conjured up The Cardigans in my mind. The dreamy, martini-esque lounge guitars and keys are straight out of the 60’s and the poetic lyrics paint a deep picture. And thanks to the great mix (cheers to the engineer) they do not get lost.
“Babycakes” starts of with a great rhythm guitar hook and Mickey channels Teri Nunn from Berlin fame to deliver one of the best vocal performances on the record.
Then these cheeky kids come at you with “Wiser for the Wear” a Cowboy Junkies-inspired song that features torch singer vocals and a trumpet that is so melancholy, I could feel the pain in the notes.
“Tennessee”, the title track, has a 60’s distorted blues riff that I loved and again. Mickey holds true to the record’s storyline.
While Mickey’s vocals, with stellar background help from Erin and David, are the cornerstone of The Prowling Kind’s sound, what really impresses me Zach’s guitar work. He carved out some really memorable grooves and knows exactly when to let it out and, more importantly, when to hold back. (Check out the work on “Fine, Fine, Fine” – ironically enough he would make The Tennessee Three blush.)
I’m hear to report that The Prowling Kind are definitely in my rotation and I highly recommend you checking them out. “Babycakes” is available online for your listening pleasure here. Tennessee can be purchased in its entirety through iTunes here.