Review: The Kyle Bennett Band "Grey Sunrise"

The Kyle Bennett Band's self titled debut album, known by fans as "The Red CD," was a bestseller. It introduced a bold and confident Red Dirt, Texas music band ready to take on the world. Today, it's clear that The Kyle Bennett Band, which was formed in 2004, is a little older and a little wiser. Indeed, "Grey Sunrise" takes us on the band members' journey toward maturity - both as musicians and as country boys living in a world of double digit unemployment and substance abuse. Even the album's cover offers a subtle warning about the dangers of carnal temptation.
First of all, The Kyle Bennett Band (KBB) is not a one horse act. Kyle Bennett founded the band with John Siedler, and the band is finished out with guitarist Jon "Fish" Hunt, drummer Beau Brauer and bass player Rody Molder. The five men of the group all have unique strengths and undeniable country music talent. Certainly, the band's blend of fun and professionalism shines through on the classic bar song "Time To Switch To Whiskey." This track offers a memorable a melody and superb lyrics.

However, the album really picks up steam on the current single "Should've Listened." With this cut, The Kyle Bennett Band achieves a commercial mixture of the styles of Tim McGraw and The Randy Rogers Band while still maintaining its signature Red Dirt sound. There's good reason that "Should've Listened" is already a Texas music chart hit.

"The Road" is the first track that seems to chronicle the journey of the band over the last few years, and the sound is similar to the one successfully introduced on "The Red CD." This is feel-good, Texas music, and it presents KBB at its best. "Devil's On My Trail" is an upbeat, outlaw country cut that illustrates good boys can go bad with a couple of wrong decisions. Likewise, "Empty Barrels" is a brutal, masterpiece that shows how the emotions of love and hate can intersect in a dangerous way. The track "Blackbird" also successfully chronicles love and loss.

The title track "Grey Sunrise" is an upbeat, cheerful, Wade Bowen-style song that every Texas music fan will eat up like peanut patties at the county fair. There's no doubt that this tune will be released as a single. And it should be.

But the best track on the album is the perfectly crafted "Crescendo." This is a song with heart that offers sincere lyrics and an intense vocal performance from The Kyle Bennett Band that hits on all cylinders. However, "Everything To Lose" is a close second in the "best song" category. This passionate track is an ode to the woman who is her man's "Everything To Lose."

The Kyle Bennett Band's "Grey Sunrise" is rounded out with the melodic "When The Lights Go Down," a story in song titled "Jimmy & Josie," "One Light Town" and "Still In Love With You." The latter tune is a contemporary love song with a twist. "Still In Love With You" could have a long life on the country music charts.

The Kyle Bennett Band's debut album showed that these country boys could play with the best in Texas, but "Grey Sunrise" chronicles how life has changed for the band members as they walk confidently into manhood - even though there are challenges and struggles along with way. Not only does "Grey Sunrise" offer rockin' Texas music with great lyrics, but this album pushes the band to the next level by offering relevant social commentary mixed with the band's signature sound. There's no gray area here: "Grey Sunrise" is destined to become a Texas music classic.