Review: Kern Pratt – Broken Chains

Posted on: Sunday, Jul 19, 2015


Kern Pratt – Broken Chains

(Gigtime Records)

Kern is an electric guitarist and singer out of Greenville, Mississippi, and he sounds like it too. Although he has worked with such famed artists as Hubert Sumlin, Lil’ Dave Thompson, and Percy Sledge, he gives his prime influence as Johnny Winter, which is certainly evident on some of the rockier numbers on this set, though those Mississippi roots shine through.

‘Somewhere South Of Memphis’ is an emotive number, not quite a blues, but no matter – Kern has already convinced us of his credentials with the Elmore-ish ‘Greenville Mississippi Blues’ (great piano from Eden Brent too) and a superlative cover of Albert Collins’ ‘Lights Are On But Nobody’s Home’. ‘Black Hannah’ is a fine strutting song about James T-Model Ford’s guitar, and with its blues-rockin’ guitar licks, one to be played loud.

‘Cotton Pickin’ is a swinging guitar instrumental in the vein of Freddy King, Louisiana bluesman Kenny Neal helps out on second guitar on the catchy ‘Don’t Leave Me Baby’, and ‘It Hurts Me Too’ has a front-porch feel with harp by Luc Borms and a fine second vocal by Denise Owen, who takes the lead on the fine blues of ‘Smokin’ Gun’.

‘Handcuffed To The Blues’ is a return to smoking blues-rock, whilst ‘Soulshake’ is indeed an up tempo soul-flavoured duet between Kern and Denise. Proceedings close out as they began, with a short but atmospheric slide piece.

Certainly an interesting and very enjoyable album then. Let’s hear more from Kern soon, and do check him out on Youtube too.


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