Anywhere But Home (Album Review)

- Jason Mater Robinson, NO DEPRESSION magazine

Every once in a while I get blessed with something that sticks out in a high-definition world. I personally get tired of being fed "Happy go lucky" and need that black and white fix from the high-def culture we live in. My great friend Mr. Stevie Tombstone turned me on to an ALTCO label mate Kern Richards, and I can't thank him enough after listening to his latest released entitled "Anywhere But Home."

Kern hails from the great state of California and is a pure singer/songwriter who has the ability to make you believe in the stories he sings.  Don't expect no "Happy go lucky" here but do expect much brutally honest lyrics and some great arrangements which I was pleasantly surprised. Anywhere but home is the perfect name for the record which tells stories of lonesome, highways, 24hr cafes, booze, lost love, injustices and everything that comes with.

Richards voice really stands out and sounds like "it's been in a smoke house for several days and placed on the highway only to be hit by a semi truck" . I would describe living where  Tom Waits drawl and Lenoard Cohen's lullaby echos over lap. In the title track of the same as album name Anywhere but home the singer explains 

"Monday drunk in Barstow...Tuesday couldn't care....Wednesday night sick with fright and headed to nowhere....Thursday back in rehab....Friday getting stoned....from Sunday dawn to Saturday night I'll go anywhere but home"

After hearing those lyrics, the great Kristofferson is kicking his own ass for not penning such. It's safe to say that Kern won't be playing many weddings but will speak to the working man, truck driver, the outcast, the beaten down, the guy who doesn't wanna go home from the bar, the cook at the Huddle House at 3am, and such.

I for one really got into and am still growing into this record, for much of the things he is speaking of I too have been thru it. I can respect the hell out of a man who is honest in the struggles of life. Not everyone can relate to beach life and eating at Applebees. Thank god for folks like Kern Richards who tell it like it is and make you feel it's heartfelt under-belly Americana. Go pick up a copy of his new release now and thank me later.


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