Pickin’ on Nashville: The Kentucky Headhunters

Rating: 80%

KhhpickinIn 1989, the newly reunited and newly formed Kentucky Headhunters released their debut “Pickin’ on Nashville.” The Kentucky Headhunters is a country/rock band that classifies their sound as Heavy Metal Bluegrass. But don’t call them just an ordinary country band. Their music is a lot heavier than that. The band consisted of Greg Martin on lead guitar, Richard Young on rhythm guitar, Fred Young on drums, Doug Phelps on bass guitar and Ricky Lee Phelps on lead vocals.

“Pickin’ on Nashville” is a fine collection of music with a rock n’ roll edge rooted deeply in southern rock mixed with blues and mountain music and yes, heavy metal. The production is good on this album giving the listener a bold country music sound, but, it has it’s heavier side. It has a great collection of melodies and it has a lot of harmony. The musicianship is remarkable and it truly sounds as if the entire band is having fun making their brand of music.

Greg Martin is one hell of a guitarist and if he’s not on a list of the top 100 guitarists, then he should be. His leads and scales are not exactly country, but, they are good. There is some excellent guitar riffs from both of the guitarists. The bass and drums are top notch. Ricky’s vocal work has that country twang to it, but, don’t let that fool you. His voice is very strong throughout the entire album.

This album has one bluegrass cover “Walk Softly on This Heart of Mine” and which was adopted and redeveloped into the band’s own style. It also has two more covers, “Oh Lonesome Me” and “Jump a Rope.” Bottom line, these are good ol’ boys playing good ol’ rock n’ roll.

Track listing:

1. “Walk Softly on This Heart of Mine” 3:44
2. “Dumas Walker” 2:50
3. “Rag Top” 3:11
4. “Rock ‘n’ Roll Angel” 3:51
5. “Smooth” 4:27
6. “High Steppin’ Daddy” 2:57
7. “Skip a Rope” 2:31
8. “Some Folks Like to Steal” 2:51
9. “Oh Lonesome Me” 3:09
10. “My Daddy Was a Milkman” 4:28

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