By Gail Reynolds, Rock At Night Columnist
Review: Unscrupulous Sunspots- Kite on a Broken String
There’s some music that just makes you feel happy even if the lyrics describe life’s slings and arrows. It’s music that makes you want to sing along, tap your feet, or clap because it becomes a part of you. Those Unscrupulous Sunspots is a band that creates such music, making them a favorite of patrons of watering holes throughout West Central Florida.
Their Kite on a Broken String 2015 CD promises to be a favorite of those who relish the Americana genre. With each original song the listener gleans insight into the classic folk/country/blues/rock influences. The final cut clearly spells it out. “Weaned on Neil” is a superb tribute to Neil Young, down to the distinctive guitar riffs and harmonica accompaniment.
The lyrics are clever and wry as evidenced by “Hard Case” describing a dubious reconnection with a former flame. She invites her “man child” Ex who appears at her doorstep to “come on out of the rain” with the caveat “If you pulled what you pulled in Vegas or the streets of Palistine, Texas, I’m going to run your sorry, no good cheatin’ ass right on home.” To further put a point on it, she warns “You’ll be gone so fast I’ll mail your shadow to your new address.”
“Dance Like Crazy” describes small town inhabitants, Billy and Sally, cutting loose on a Friday night at the “only place to get beer or wine on a lonely dusty road across the county line” where “Billy knew the waitress from his high school class. And when Sally wasn’t looking he was staring at her ass.” Still, even though they know it is unlikely to find lasting love in a smoky bar, they would shake the work week off and dance like crazy.
Each of the bakers dozen original songs of Kite With a Broken String is a gem, treasured by fans of “The Sunspots’” or “Spots” (for those who don’t want to say the entire mouth full.) In venues close to their San Antonio (Florida, that is!) home base such as The Brass Tap, The Local Pub and Provisions, The Garden Cafe, and San Ann Liquor (fondly known as Ralph’s) loyal followers will exuberantly sing along and dance like crazy.
The Unscrupulous Sunspots are:
• Roger Hughes (lead guitar, vocals)
• Lea Thomas (vocals, mandolin)
• Mary Epperson (vocals, guitar)
• Arnie Martinez (percussion)
• Steve Dicks (bass)
• Dean Rusk (vocals, guitar, harmonica)
“Redhead Angel” from Kite on a Broken String
I love music and I love to write, so Rock at Night is a perfect forum for me.I appreciate all genres from classical to country and am astounded by the number of extraordinarily talented but under-recognizedmusical artists. So my articles often feature such “well known unknown” musicians and composers.
Before email, I would include a record review along with my holiday greetings as an alternative to annual reports of personal achievements and acquisitions. Among these, I wrote of Leonard Cohen’s I’m Your Man in 1988 and Bruce Cockburn’s Nothing But A Burning Light in 1991, urging my friends and family to listen to these masterpieces.
Now I can continue to express my enthusiasm for various musical artists to a wider audience.
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