ROD KINNY – Higher Self (2010)
A native of Minnesota, Rod Kinny has what can be described as a unique musical style.
“Higher Self” is the first full length album by this independent artist, displaying a mature sense of melody and taste leaning towards an Adult Contemporary / Westcoast style.
It’s kinda Ambrosia meets America with a taste of Steely Dan in it, but in the end you realize he’s got his own great melange.
Fresh and groovy songs, a timeless labour of love, regardless of current trends and other distractions.
The music of “Higher Self” and the manner of Rod Kinny performing and singing reminded me of the legendary Al Stewart.
But Rod definitely has his own established style. His acoustic guitar playing and vocal harmonies are truly enjoyable.
The colorful layers of bass and electric guitars, drums, percussion, keyboards, occasional violin and horns are perfectly added to Rod Kinny’s songs.
There are times on this disc that he brings to mind some of the classic sounds of the late ’70s / earlier ’80s, such as “Beyond The Impossible”, which, as many tracks on this CD, has an Ambrosia feel.
That’s because the album is produced by the talented Joe Puerta (Ambrosia, Bruce Hornsby & The Range) who also plays guitar, bass, keyboards, etc.
Other standout tracks on the album include the soothing “Between Two Worlds” and the well-written “Water Into Wine”. Kinny penned all the songs himself and shows to be a quite competent songwriter.
As a tunesmith, he shines brightest on tracks like “Old Into New”, and “London Town”, which features some nifty drum work from John Calarco.
Sometimes catchy and radio friendly, sometimes laid back and smooth, this album has wonderful tunes you want to hear over and over again.
We get hundreds of new CD submissions a year.
Sadly, most of them do not require a great deal of listening. In fact, I can pretty much tell by the middle of the first song if the material meets the 0dayrock criteria.
We consider production, songwriting skills like melody, lyrics, musicianship and, of course the abilities of the lead singer. If these skills grab us as positive, it will be here.
Occasionally a submission grabs us from the ‘git go’ and by the 3rd song in we’re hooked.
Rod Kinny’s “Higher Shelf” is one of them. It took us no time to get our foots tappin’, to get us to want to listen to that song again, and to make us want to sing along these sweet melodies.
01 – Beyond The Impossible
02 – Higher Self
03 – Between Two Worlds
04 – Old Into New
05 – Infinite Love
06 – Water To Wine
07 – London Town
08 – Infinite Love (Be Free)
09 – Competition
10 – Prime Mover
Rod Kinny : vocals, bass, acoustic & electric guitars
Joe Puerta : acoustic guitar, keyboards, bass, percussion
Keith Pulvermacher : electric guitars
John Calarco : drums
Ryan Schiedermayer : percussion
Sam Steffke, Dave Adler, Matt Fink : keyboards
Johnny Padilla, Matt Attonowicz : horns
Jason Wolf : violin
Barbara Stephan, Rochelle Lockridge, Joe Puerta : backing vocals
IF YOU LIKE IT, BUY IT!