Kenny Dubman: Conflicted

Kenny Dubman
(Kenny Dubman)

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A heavy rocker featuring Blackberry Smoke’s Charlie Starr on lead guitar rumbles under Kenny Dubman’s vocal on “Old Dogs,” the opener on his latest album Conflicted.

“Modern Day Jesus” is a slightly slower anthemic organ/guitar mixer, reminding me of Bob Seger, with some excellent backing vocals from Tommy Grasso & Toni Messina. The slide from Dubman adds a nice glisten over it all.

“Toeing The Line” has got some great acoustic guitar under Dubman’s growl of a love gone wrong. At times, he reminds me of a bunch of different vocalists, here more than slightly Dan McCaffery from Nazareth. As he does throughout here, Dubman gets organ and drums perfectly placed, adding color and a real stick-to-your-bones beat to his tunes. The break here just kicks ass; it’s a really wonderful opening to another great lead from the main man, fading into an organ moment.

What a breath of fresh air “Cruelest Of Them All” is…although the lyric pulls no punches about human nature with a certain religious tinge, something I hear through lots of these tunes here. What I like about this big rocker is how much space there is, from the opening acoustic guitar, drummer Joe Bellia just giving the snare snap what it needs (though he kicks it up to “11” later) to move the tune along, and then the incomparable Zakk Wilde lead taking us to the end. “Wool Over Your Eyes” features a great acoustic guitar and vocal about digging deeper for the truth, a cautionary little ditty about how the world really is.

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