Kings and Kings features some of the band's best Featuring guests: Eric Church, Vince Gill, Jason Isbell, Raul Malo, Keb Mo, Fantastic Negrito, Buddy Miller, Rodney Crowell, Nick Lowe, Bruce Cockburn, Dallas Green, Sam Palladio, Chris Carmack, Charles Esten, Jonathan Jackson.
The album kicks off with the Live By The Song, which is simply the autobiography of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. The song is really the biography of every working musician / songwriter committed to the »life«. Perfectly featuring the voice of Grammy award winner Rodney Crowell and Fearing on the lead vocal. Nick Lowe brings elegance to Secret of A Long Lasting Love. The gorgeous rendition of Fearing's High Wire featuring the impeccable voice of Raul Malo. A Woman Gets More Beautiful situates long time friends and collaborators Linden and Bruce Cockburn. On this track the pair philosophize on the appreciation of timeless beauty, slipping from English to French to English. On every Blackie and The Rodeo Kings album there is a song penned by their namesake, the late great Willie P. Bennett. This Lonesome Feeling is a classic cowboy lament. Multi Grammy award winner Vince Gill takes it to the Mountain with his contribution. Long Walk To Freedom is Fearing with the iconic Kevin Moore aka Keb Mo, long time friend and collaborator of Linden's. Groove and melody reign under fantastic manipulations by Oakland's Fantastic Negrito on Wilson's Bitter and Low.
Next Beautiful Scars the song inspired by novelist Miriam Toews benefits from the amazing vocal performance by Dallas Green, City and Colour. Linden has spent hours with the cast of NASHVILLE helping the actors and musicians bring their best to the screen and live stage. For Where The River Rolls, he gathered the crew at the day job around the microphone to bring their vocal skills to the track. The result is an upbeat and fun celebration with Linden, Sam Palladio, Chris Carmack, Charles Esten and Jonathan Jackson all sharing verses and harmonies.
Eric Church on Bury My Heart and Jason Isbell on Land Of The Living (Hamilton Ontario 2016) bring a real contemporary country music voice and feel to Blackie and The Rodeo Kings. Like every King on the album, these guys can sing the lights out and they do. Each time singer-songwriter-guitarists Stephen Fearing, Colin Linden and Tom Wilson come together as Blackie, different categories of magic result - Hittin' the Note »YOU HEAR IT IN EVERY NOTE OF EVERY SONG«. BLACKIE AND THE RODEO KINGS BALANCE THE SENSITIVE AND THE LOUD - Michael Varity, The Blue Grass Situation
Those new to this unusually named act can start here and work back through a catalog that will provide hours of superb, often revelatory listening. -Hal Horowitz, American Songwriter