By Nelson Heise
First things first, Bernie’s full name suits the kind of alt-country rock he delivers on his self-titled album. His cowboy hat cover photo adds to the twangy guitars and baritone voice that comes pouring out of the speakers on tracks like “North Rim”, “Drinking with the Lord” and “Big Fat Woman”. I cannot say that Mr. King’s disc is about to start the next great music revolution and frankly that’s fine because he feels comfortable in the niche of gritty guitars and loner lost love stories.
When Bernie’s cranks up the volume on tracks like “North Rim”, “Highways of Nebraska”, “Road to Hell” and “Big Fat Woman”, I feel more convinced of the message he is trying to deliver. Bernie’s strong guitar playing seems to shine when there is the backbone of a band to bring his licks alive. The more mellow tracks are fine and are filled with your typical pedal steel guitar and organ work, but they seem to miss some of the rowdiness the harder tracks bring. But this is a small critique to what is an over all good, solid disc, that has raw energy and sincerity, and those are qualities that can be hard to come by.
Check out the "King" link on the sidebar for more. There's talk of a new release come fall '09.