SOMETHING (SPECIAL) FOR THE WEEKEND

COVERING three continents and involving more than 20 musicians, THE KINTNERS album, ‘Collaborations,’ has finally been released.

The project has been a labour of love for Texan-based songwriters Kelly and Keri Kintner. It’s taken 13 months of their lives and a bucket full of ‘Lone Star State’ blood, sweat, tears and sacrifice, but my Lord, their struggles have been more than adequately rewarded.

“It’s been my life’s dream to make a big album,” said Kelly.

“Covid actually provided an opportunity for me and some friends to record remotely once I found producers who were willing. I’m a huge fan of Broadway, big songs. My first concert was Huey Lewis and the News and SRV at the Hollywood Bowl and I’ve dreamed of making something like this since.”

And so, the work began, with musicians from South Africa, Poland, Germany, Croatia – and America – invited to participate.

“I’d never met any of the musicians, but I have listened to their music for several years, and I got it into my head that I wanted to collaborate with them,” added Kelly. “I felt confident Keri and I had written some good songs that would suit them. So, we made some demos and began to approach them.

“Like almost everyone else at the time, we were locked down, so the best way for us to respond to this unique situation was to focus on a big project that would bring us pleasure and help distract from the global pandemic. We immersed ourselves in creating this album, an album that I hope people will recognize as joyfully celebrating the rich history of American music and life in general. And can I also add that it was beautifully mastered by ‘bkbirge’ as well. He’s really phenomenal and ran the files through antique, tube driven equipment for a little warmth.”

But to glibly categorise this collection as nothing more than ‘Americana,’ would be to furnish it with the highest possible insult.

It’s much more than that.

Undeniably there’s a taste of the fine, sandy, desert, of visions of wide-open spaces, of heat and dirt scattered among the ten-song collection, but there’s also a passing nod towards swinging 60’s London, ‘Keep Me Around,’ and the simplicity of ‘Cliffhanger,’ and it’s gorgeous, mellow, ‘Madman Across The Water’ vibe.

“The goal of ‘Keep Me Around’ was if Amy Winehouse and Mama Cass partied in the studio together,” explained Kelly. “For some reason we just had a conversation where we imagined them getting along and a song came out of it.

“As for ‘Cliffhanger,’ that’s the most played track on the album so far, and it’s interesting that there are no drums on that one.”

And the significance of Keri’s involvement within the project cannot be overstated or overlooked.

“We met at church when we used to go,” added Kelly.

“Generally, I’ll take her nothing more than a hook, no story or anything and she helps me forge the story out in a way that fits the developing tune. Both are written simultaneously so they go together, lyrics and melody. Sometimes I won’t have words for parts I want to sing, just the consonant or vowel sounds, and Keri helps turn those sounds into the right words in context of a story – brilliantly, I might add.

“I am writing lyrics, playing guitar, doing promo, recording others, recording me, rehearsing and editing about 16 hours a day. I have all this energy for it. I’m quite certain I’d still have the energy if it weren’t for music. But I probably couldn’t feel as productive. Making music gives me something to improve upon and eventually master. Some folks like Karate, some folks cook, it keeps us out of trouble.”

The Kintners are honest, wholesome, storytellers, but storytellers of the highest order. (Give ‘Two Weeks’ a listen.) Songs from their lives, from events witnessed, are unashamedly laid bare for our privilege. And it is a privilege to hear, share, and celebrate their work, to experience the passion, brilliance, and integrity evident in every song.

Think of Dylan, of Waits, of Young…and now add The Kintners to that list.

Music | The Kintners (bandcamp.com)

COLLABORATIONS:

KEEP ME AROUND

Nathan Peter Illes: Produced (and played some instruments.)

Kev Sharp: Synth

Brady Jo: Coproduced. 

BUILD ME BREAK ME

Jason Brown: (Wichita Falls, TX Studio Guitarist) Lead guitar. 

Kev Sharp: Keys.

bkbirge: Bass and drums. 

Mixed by: Brady Jo.

FEAR

Roger Brainard: Acoustic guitar & vocals.

Jim (Barefoot Jimmy) Schwarz: Harmonica.

Ace Parkhurst: Dobro.

Kev Sharp: Keys

bkbirge: Drums

Mixed by: Brady Jo.

WAITING

Brady Jo: Keys, lead guitar, bass, and mixing.

bkbirge: Bass and drums

TWO WEEKS

Charu Suri: Piano

Mixed by: Mixed by Adam

ASHTRAY

Ben Shaw: Vocals 

Kev Sharp: Piano & keys

Kevin Harrington: Bass

bkbirge: Drums

Matthew Stephens: Lead guitar

Mixed by: Brady Jo

SUBATOMIC MESSAGES

Daddy Bitts: Lead guitar & sings

Kev Sharp: Keys

bkbirge: Bass & drums

Mixed by: Brady Jo

THE WARNING 

Del Owusu: Keys

bkbirge: Bass, drums & horns

The Godzilla Attacks Tokyo Kamikaze Blues Band: Lead guitar

Mixed by: bkbirge

CLIFFHANGER

Kev Sharp: Keys

Mixed by: Brady Jo

MANNERS

Annika Jayne: Other acoustic 

Orange G: Banjo

Roger Brainard: Electric guitar

Evelyn Laurie: Harmony

Chenel No1: Harmony

Rose Alaimo: Harmony

bkbirge: Piano, bass & drums

Mixed by: Brady Jo 

* All songs written by Keri & Kelly Kintner – except for ‘The Warning,’ written with assistance from Del Owusu.

Keri Kintner: Lead vocals & harmony.

Kelly Kintner: Guitar & vocals.

1 Comment

  • Chris Triggs says:

    I love The Kintners. The ‘Collaborations’ album is a fantastic album. Both Kelly and Keri both have stunning voices. ‘Cliffhanger’ and ‘The Warning’ are personal favourites but the album has so many highlights..
    Personal pride is heard in great abundance on the record, from the harmonies to the performance themselves and the amazing twisting of the lyrics around gorgeous melodies. The album is like the sun rising in the morning, but instead of waiting 24 hours for the next sunrise, you can play and repeat every 45 minutes or so. Brilliant

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