27 year-old Kenny Roby grew up in Clemson, South Carolina and first made a name for himself as the singer/songwriter/guitarist of Raleigh, North Carolina band, 6 String Drag. After two albums (one on Fundamental, one on E-Sqaured) 3 of the 4 band members managed to get their wives pregnant and the resulting personal commitments unfortunately led to the hopefully temporary disintegration of 6 String Drag. Roby wisely wasted no time in launching his solo career.
Recorded in late 1998 in Raleigh, "Mercury's Blues" was co-produced by Roby and Byron McCay and features guest appearances from Caitlin Cary of Whiskeytown, along with Roby's 6 String Drag mates Ray Duffey and Scott Miller and showcases 10 new Roby originals. The albums a puree of blue-eyed soul, rock-n-roll, reggae, punk, gospel, country and whatever else Roby soaked up in his days as a record store clerk. The songs owe small debts of influences to artists ranging from John Fogerty, The Band and Bruce Springsteen to NRBQ, Elvis Costello and Bob Marley and adeptly shift musical styles at the blink of an eye. Roby has a hard time describing what kind of music he plays, telling you he plays rock-n-roll and prefers to leave the analysis to others.
"There was never any kind of conscious plan to play any particular style," says Roby. "It all just kind of grew out of the influences I've been absorbing over the last few years and the songs I've been writing. I try to experience different kinds of music and different things rub off." Roby's animated singing is the focus of the album and he also sees to it that the lyrics are as arresting as the music, telling a good story and stocking the album with memorable lines and quirky phrasing.
"I've always been a Stones fan," says Roby, attempting to explain his earthy songwriting approach. "And even when I was playing in a punk band we were doing Buck Owens songs. So that part was always there, too. I think this album does a good job of covering the diff....... więcej