When: Sat., June 1 2013
THE KERNAL Joe Garner, leader of this Jackson, Tenn., outfit, comes from quality country stock; his father was a Grand Ole Opry bassist and bandleader for Del Reeves and the Kendalls. In tribute after his father’s 2007 death, Garner refitted his music from its singer-songwriter folkie fare, donned the red suit his pop wore with Reeves, and turned to what the quartet calls “honky tonk with a subterranean message.” Recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis and produced by Jeff Powell (Bob Dylan, Big Star, Centromatic), the band’s sparkling debut, Farewellhello, builds around four-part harmonies, old school country storytelling, and guitars that jangle and twang as they weave around the melodies. The songs vary enough to recall early Tom Petty, the Burrito Brothers, a less psychedelics-influenced Beachwood Sparks, and, of course, more trad country fare. The further the band goes down this road and away from the cutesy folk, the better they get.