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Memphis Kee (from the album Wimberley available as an independent release) (by Lee Zimmerman)
Memphis Kee are a decidedly down-home outfit, bereft of pretension and focused on sharing songs that draw inspiration from the insights and experiences culled from the Texas Hill Country town where their new album, Wimberley, was recorded. Led by its hard-bitten namesake, the band — Kee (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Spencer Carlson (lead guitar, vocals), Paul Pinon (drums), Joey Sisk (bass) and Jake Waylon (mandolin, keys, guitar, vocals) — are aided and abetted by special guests Mike Harmeier of Mike and the Moonpies and Cody Braun from Reckless Kelly.
That said, it’s an uncompromising approach that typifies Wimberly overall, whether it’s through gruff, gritty alt-country rockers like “Little Rock’s A Fine Town”,, “Annabelle”, “Indestructible”, “Shelby County Line” and “Flammable Bridges” or the more sensitive strains of “McKinley’s Song”, a heartfelt ballad addressed to Kee’s daughter, the bruised and battered “Flowers” or “Come Pick Me Up,” a Ryan Adams composition that serves as the album’s sole cover.
Memphis Kee are a decidedly rugged bunch, borne from frayed circumstance at times but readily resilient in both their attitude and approach. There’s heartache and disappointment etched equally in each of these songs while the music they make suggests that they remain unfettered in their desire to still persevere. In the album’s final offering, “Angels of Monterrey”, Memphis Kee manage to state the situation, framing the narrative as a desperate attempt to escape the unsparing anguish of daily disappointment:
‘I want to live
These angels of Monterrey
Come down to me on clouds of blow
To help me find my way
The American dream its not for me
I'm made for a life of sin
Let's go down to the barrio
and do it all again…
Patience and perseverance don’t necessarily go hand in hand, but Memphis Kee make it clear they’ll do whatever it takes to survive and eventually succeed. It’s that consistent resolve, spawned from both desire and disdain, that finds Wimberley reflecting that continued drive and defiance.
(By Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of Memphis Kee from AMAZON
Please go to the Memphis Kee website for more purchase and artist information
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