Kris Heaton Strikes It Rich On New Album My City of Gold
Kris Heaton is doing a lot on his new album My City of Gold, which just dropped today on All Hallow’s Eve 2021. He’s mixing up country and western with gospel, and good ol’ blues with contemporary rock.
But what he’s doing best is “Hole In The Sky”, a ponderous, bass heavy ode to the great beyond, or perhaps to that eternal being who has always dwelled there. The blues element is undeniable on this one, as is the perfection of the guitars creating it. Some of them are tubed, dropping deliberate chords over a mid-tempo pace. But the lead is anything as convincing as B.B. King may have laced up, electric, and wandering between the former guitars and the rest of the tune at will, doing no wrong anywhere in between.
It’s the type of tune you can put your head into, and only gets better as Heaton gets to the hook where he kicks back on some ‘hallelujahs’ that sound way too real. It’s the sort of sentiment one can’t fake, delivered in earnest over a victor of a song that you’ve got to hear to truly understand.
One of the standouts (and delights) on this LP is the drumming that Heaton largely supplies himself. Part of its strength lies in the mix, however. His rim shots come across really clean and loud. The best part, however, is when he gets to flailing on the tom toms during the breakdowns and effectively pans them at the same time. It makes for very poignant transitions that certainly add to the gusto of almost each tune on which he pulls this maneuver.
This technique is displayed on “You Want It”, which also boasts an extremely meaningful rhythm guitar that helps to accelerate things on what’s already an up tempo affair. The electric guitar is scorching on this one as well, which is a clear testament to the musicianship Heaton’s got right on what’s only (we’re being a little sarcastic here) his 10th studio album.
That the artist is able unveil such musicianship on numbers that have lyrics that are obviously gospel in nature, yet underpinned by music that could easily go pop, is a testament to all he’s learned, and perhaps, done in that time. It certainly makes for original songwriting and a whole album worthy of listening to.