“…another restless day into another sleepless night. That’s okay, I’ll be okay, story of my life...” a line from Best of Mine from the opening track of the new album by Kevin West, The Story of My Life. The line and the lyrics conjured recollections of those soul grabbing emotions imbued in Tracy Chapman songs. Better Days and Kinda Blue off the Meaning of Life album are pure and simple great songs that fans of Ben Harper, Jack White or Dave Matthews will appreciate.
The album also sports a killer version of the old hymnal standard Amazing Grace, which must be heard to be believed. You’ll have to visit Kevin West’s Soundcloud page for that…
We’re just scratching the surface. This is West’s 5th studio album since 2001. The new album might be West’s best to date. Evidence for that is the bluesy One Too Many, a funky lament about booze, one night stands and regret. West’s guitar work is masterful. The sound is full and rich, the composition tight. Fans of Pure Prairie League will find their classic Amie haunting the melody on West’s My Only Sunshine. Sweet Innocence is grounded soundly in Country roots. Not For Nothin’, the album’s final track, is a top-tapping mid-tempo jazz-blues instrumental.
I might be a bit partial. West was born in San Diego CA, where my cohost, Kerri Kendall(Playboy’s Miss September 1990) was born and raised. West was raised in northern New Jersey, and grew up in a lower middle class blue collar environment that drips from his music and lyrics. His writing tells stories about living in the real world and heartache, sometimes employing humor to make his point. Living and performing in Charleston SC for a number of years and now in LA, Kevin has played in many bands with a variety of musicians, on just about every stage in Charleston from the famed Music Farm or The Wind Jammer, opening for national acts like Rehab, Afro Man, Long Beach Dub All Stars/Short Bus and Kevin Kinney (Just to name a few) to doing acoustic sets at intimate venues downtown and on the beaches.
No pretension here. Just straightforward songs rendered from the heart by a rock-solid songwriter. Given all that, album number 5 hardly seems like a destination, but a mid way point in an already memorable catalog of music…
Share the full EP playlist via Spotify.
Artist Name: Kevin West
Location: Los Angeles CA / Charleston SC
Release Name: Story Of My Life
Release Date: Jun 15, 2019
Producer: Kevin West and Lee Barbour
1. Best Of Mine
2. One Too Many
3. My Only Sunshine
4. Sweet Innocence
5. Story Of My Life
6. Not For Nothin
Kevin West: Vocals, Electric and Acoustic Guitars
Markus Helander: Drums
Brett Belanger: Electric and Acoustic Bass
Whitt Algar: Piano and Keyboard
Jeff Caldwell: Electric Guitar
Whitney Hanna: Vocals
Steven Sandifer: Percussion
Quentin E. Baxter: Drums
Kevin Hamilton: Bass
Lee Barbour: Electric Guitar
Charlton Singleton: Trumpet
Mark Sterbank: Saxophone
Jonathan Lovett: Keyboard
Styles: Americana, Rock, Jazz