Kentucky Headhunters – Soul


Yes, it’s true, this one came out some time ago, but it has occupied space on my listening stack for a long time. The Headhunters have been “popular” for more than 15 years, and they were a band 20 years before that. They still sound great, and one of the constants has been the wonderful Greg Martin on lead guitar.

Not surprisingly, Martin’s playing on this album is the epitome of tone and taste. There is, as the title would suggest, a bit of southern soul music, and Martin’s sliding fifths and beautiful chord arpeggios help define a couple of the songs. How ’bout Gospel-driven soul with Beatlesque chimey guitars? Good, old-fashioned loud blues-influenced rock and roll makes an appearance on “We All Need It.” Perfect big fat notes and that hot-knife-through-butter tone are hallmarks of the sound Martin’s had since day one with the Headhunters. There are some other fun tunes. “Last Night I Met Carl Perkins” has a great lyric, and the rockabilly guitar stylings you’d expect from a song with that title. “Lookin’ For Mr. Perfect” is a funky rocker with a guitar figure that fits perfectly, and a clean/loud solo that is pure Gibson heaven.

This album doesn’t show us anything new. But this is a batch of fellas, led by a guitarist of rare taste and quality, that really get it. So you get 11 quality songs that leave you smilin’ at the end of the day. That’s no small feat in this age of rock and roll.

This article originally appeared in VG‘s May ’04 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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