Sound Bites: Audio Reviews

Thursday, August 17th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Selected new releases:


``The Kinleys II'' (Epic) — The Kinleys

Twin sisters Jennifer and Heather Kinley are securing their place in a long list of country-music families whose harmonies are as close as their bloodlines. Their second album, aptly titled ``The Kinleys II,'' strikes nearer to the heart of their developing style. Influences from funk to rock to pop are clearly identifiable in the Philadelphia-born duo's songs of hope, and hearts broken and mended.

Songs like ``Yeah, Yeah, Yeah'' and the Sheryl Crow-esque ``That's Gonna Mess You Up'' — with their youthful energy and simple lyrics — reveal the Kinleys aren't quite as mature as the Judds. However, syncopated vocal riffs like those at the end of ``She Ain't the One for You'' reveal a musicality that holds much promise. The combination of genuine emotion and crystal-toned voices makes ``The Kinleys II'' a good second step.

— By Aimee M. Sims, AP Writer


On the Net:

``Blues Masters: The Very Best of T-Bone Walker'' (Rhino) — T-Bone Walker

``The Best of Freddie King — The Shelter Records Years'' (The Right Stuff/EMI) — Freddie King

Bluesmen T-Bone Walker and Freddie King were native Texans who played electric guitar, won stardom in the big city and died just a year apart. Yet their influential music was very different, as these two fine compilations show.

The 16 tunes on ``Blues Masters: The Very Best of T-Bone Walker'' merge the blues of Chicago and Texas with the vaudeville of Hollywood. The set, recorded from 1945 to 1957, reveals Walker as the link between Cab Calloway and ZZ Top.

Such hits as ``Call It Stormy Monday,'' ``Bobby Sox Blues'' and ``T-Bone Shuffle'' can't capture Walker's wonderful stage showmanship. But the collection showcases his charismatic charm and a polished singing style that sometimes verged on crooning. Most notably, the tunes confirm that Walker, who died in 1975, was a pioneer on the electric guitar. His single-note runs and ringing chords influenced Chuck Berry, B.B. King, Eric Clapton and countless garage bands.

While Walker is rightly regarded as a legend, other bluesmen named King are more famous than Freddie. ``The Best of Freddie King — The Shelter Records Years'' is a captivating introduction to his overlooked catalog.

King, born 24 years later than Walker, plays and sings with less finesse but more power. The result is swinging, swaggering juke-joint music. And with roaring vocals and string-busting solos, King was in fine form when he recorded three albums for Leon Russell's Shelter Records in the early 1970s. He died in 1976.

``Best of'' collects 18 tunes from those sessions, including ``Guitar Boogie,'' ``Going Down'' and a furious cover of ``Lodi.'' King sums up the joyous mood on ``Palace of the King'' when he sings, ``I can make you smile every note I play.'' Walker could make the same boast.

— By Steven Wine, AP Writer


On the Net: 7/8 blues/tbone.html

``A Little Bit of Somethin''' (Mo'Wax / Beggars Banquet) — Tommy Guerrero

Although you might expect thrash rock from a pro skateboarder, Tommy Guerrero follows up the jazzy Latin-tinged beats of his 1998 debut, ``Loose Grooves and Bastard Blues,'' with the soft pillow comforts of ``A Little Bit of Somethin'.'' Aided by fellow skate artist Thomas Campbell, Guerrero rolls out even instrumental tunes with easygoing beats and lyrical guitar lines. The bass lines in ``Blue Masses'' are reminiscent of Steely Dan, while ``Four Trk Samba'' features Spanish guitar over Casiotone beats. ''100 Years Pescadito'' is the sound of rain forest relaxation.

Tommy Guerrero's ``A Little Bit of Somethin''' is for Sunday picnics and Mondays less manic.