Hearing Aide: Husky Burnette “Ain’t Nothin’ But a Revival”

Husky-Burnette--Aint-Nothing-But-A-Revival-album-coverThe blues aren’t played. The blues aren’t heard. The blues are felt. And on his latest album, Ain’t Nothin’ But a Revival, Husky Burnette is feeling it, and his audience surely will too.

This isn’t your back porch strumming blues. This isn’t your dance hall boogie blues, nor is it your big city soaring guitar blues. This is the blues born on the Southern highways, in its barbecue joints and roadhouses.

Think: trucks cruising on a rainy night with the opposing traffic’s headlights dancing all over the wet roadways; slow-smoked ribs being ripped from the bone by hungry, bearded mouths dripping in grease and sauce; burly men slamming down large beers on the charred and stained wood bar top, as another patron crosses a friend—this is how this record feels.

Throughout the 11 tracks, listeners will need a sickle to navigate through Husky’s (nee Brian) rough voice, dirty guitar and crunchy harmonica. The guitar comes in heavy and hard from the first track on that will no doubt make listeners bob along before venturing into some full-fledged head banging. But it’s not all pedal to the metal. The songs “36 Degrees” and “Busted Flat” are welcomed slowdowns, where more nuanced performances allow Burnette to display the extended range of his talents.

From Chattanooga, TN, the relative of rockabilly kings Johnny and Dorsey Burnette, Husky has music in his blood. Recorded by Andy Gibson in Nashville, Ain’t Nothin’ But a Revival is Burnette’s second album under the Rusty Knuckles label. Released the last week of February, the album is available now, so pull up a stool, grab a bottle of beer and a plate of ribs and dig in.

Key tracks: “36 Degrees,” “See,” “I Moan the Blues”