As a longtime bassist for Ray Wylie Hubbard, Guthrie Kennard has spent a good while compiling songs and absorbing influences. Ranch Road 12 is the culmination of years spent on the road and at guitar shows. Recorded in Dripping Springs, Texas, the disc is drenched in the kind of grit and sweat that remain a hallmark of the Austin-area country/folk scene. With a voice that recalls Bob Dylan and Keith Richards, Kennard spins his tales of rural disaffection against a backdrop of rough-hewed melodies and backwoods percussion. "Ain't enough prayin' to keep the faithful blessed," Kennard sings on "Ain't Enough," expressing the kind of keen insight that matches John Prine at his prime. "My Third Dream" and "Country Town" are rich, detailed portraits of life in rural areas where things move slowly but emotions may still boil. Ranch Road 12 is classic Texas music, a soundtrack to the Hill Country, and the slow country songs sound like a drive on patchy, paved roads that lead to all sorts of interesting places.
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