Title - 'Hard Road'
Artist - Tom Killner
One of the hottest young blues guitarists to emerge from the UK, Tom Killner, has just released his debut album. Hard Road this September 4th, 2015 on Cleopatra Blues in the US. Born in Rotherham, England, Killner was deemed a child prodigy of six-string blues by age 9, formed his first band a year later, and now at 19 his debut release is upon us here in the US!
Indeed, more proof of his raw talent is that the very same debut album is currently at #6 in the Amazon UK blues Hot releases charts! Hard Road is going to appeal to a very wide audience, as the eleven tracks are a mixture of both covers and originals. Having noted that Killner was "very honored and pleased to be one of their artists" re: Cleopatra Records, his debut album has most certainly been placed in some mighty safe hands.
The opening track is the deep, down south blues of 'Comin Home', which is followed by the growled, older-than-his-years vocal tone of 'Ain't No Rest For The Wicked' and then the slow, hometown blues rock of 'Feeling Good.' That is followed by the funky, upbeat blues of 'Fake It,' which in turn is backed by the Johnny Cash classic, 'Cocaine Blues.'
The slow-poke 'Hard Road,' a track that also gets to be the actual title of the album, chosen because of all the struggles, knock backs and pain that Killner endured in getting this album finished, is next, and that's followed by the mid-tempo 'Lifting Me Higher.' Hard Road is, as personified by these last two songs, nothing flashy, nothing overdone, just good old fashioned raw blues from a new voice on the trail.
Indeed, that soulful blues guitar, mixed with rocking funk, and a voice which has a resonance much deeper than his age, continues onward on 'Whisky Haze,' which is itself followed by the blistering 'Do It Again.' The album is then rounded out by both the power ballad 'Taking Its Toll,' and then the guitar-lickin' 'Midnight Call.' If you see Killner listed as playing in your UK/US town anytime soon, go see him - I know I will!