Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Rainmakers 25 ON Big Dipper Records 2011
Pretty rad that this band is was so big in Norway and Scandinavian countries that they still can release music there. This is an import vinyl issue that I bought locally at Vinyl Renaissance fairly cheap, they could barely give the thing away. Which typifies the KC scene. You can be a KC band, be huge somewhere else and everyone back home either calls you a sell out or doesn't know who the fuck you are.
There are even a couple of tunes here devoted to Kansas City, like the band is begging the hometown to embrace them. 'Missouri Girl' (pronounced Misery Girl) is exactly what you'd expect, a song about a Missouri Girl (Walkenhorst's wife). It's no 'California Girls,' but it's a solid attempt. 'Kansas City Times' talks about the back roads of surrounding towns, also a good outing. You can't say the band ignored their roots, they were always proud Kansas Citians; even when their audience is almost entirely foreign.
Overall, it's a decent album. You can't expect a masterpiece from an aging, semi-retired band. The Americana they relied on in the late-80's is now highly pronounced and well developed. Bob Walkenhorst's lyrics are still literate and clever. The production is far better than it was in the 80's. Walkenhorst still sings in a style reminiscent of the 80's, but you get used to it and it's toned down over the years. If the legend is true and these guys are huge in the Slavic countries, this isn't a bad way to represent KC.
Kansas City Times (Live)
Missouri Girl (Live)