REVIEW: “Church Hill Downs” – by Kenny Tudrick

Kenny Tudrick has been around the block quite a few times. He has played in bands such as Big Block, The Numbers, Bulldog, and even played guitar for Kid Rock (as well as writing a hit or two for him). He has played all of the smokey clubs in the underground and the biggest stadiums around the world. To call him a seasoned veteran would be a tragic understatement. With so much experience and opportunities within his music career, it’s no big shock that his latest single Church Hill Towns is over flowing with such poise and stature that some artists take the better part of their lives to achieve.

The title track Church Hill Downs features a distinctive combination of twangy guitar, harmonized vocals and jangling tambourine like any Alt-country ballad should but instead of sounding like it was made for a denim commercial like most mainstream acts end up sounding like, Tudrick elevates it to the point where you can almost feel like you are seeing him and his band live at the county fair depicted on the 7″ cover. The smell of corndogs, and cigarettes over the backdrop of the cool, late summer air dropping in temperature as the sun sets. With this single song, he has managed to paint an audio picture that is  so familiar that it’s next to impossible not to feel comfortable enough to sing along in harmony. Side B is Fairgrounds, a song that has the same comfort and familiarity but with a slightly harder edge with it’s power pop beat and flange drenched rhythm guitar, reminiscent of early Wilco and maybe even a touch of The Cardinals.

Both Church Hill Downs and Fairgrounds sound like the soundtrack to a never ending Indian Summer with their do-it-yourself honesty and tour seasoned instrumentation. While both tracks  feature confident lyrical statements of hope and redemption, there is just enough melancholy and uncertainty to keep things interesting. When Tudrick sings I’m gonna win for you in the chorus of Church Hill Downs the listener wants to believe him just as much as he does. The combination of beer fueled confidence and love weary adversity, gives the song an anthem-like quality that everyone can relate to, and really that’s some of the magic of this artists.

Tudrick has put out a few albums over the years (albums you really need to check out, like his double LP self-titled debut) and has toured with arena selling artists, but this 7″ in the culmination of years of experience and honest to goodness authenticity that sets him apart from other alt-country acts that have managed to work their way into the mainstream. He’s a little bit country and a little bit rock n roll, but zero pretentiousness. A gifted artist that has evolved into one of the scene’s most promising artists.

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Church Hill Downs is available on Kenny Tudrick’s Bandcamp page as well as being released on limited run vinyl on Jett Plastic Recordings. I highly recommend picking it on vinyl, not only because it’s of limited quantities, but because songs found on this single are almost begging to be heard on the format where they can breath. Kennty Tudrick is an incredible artist and thanks to this single, I’m looking forward to hearing where he is headed next.

Visit Jett Plastic Recordings to order Church Hill Downs on limited edition vinyl.

Visit Kenny Tudrick’s Official Website for news, music, bio and more.

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Aaron The Audiophile

Son, brother, uncle, musician. I enjoy music of all genres, shapes and sizes, preferably the good kind.

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