Hailing from Bowling Green, Kentucky, Kyle Daniel brings us into a world of truth and self-evaluation with his March 30, 2018, self-titled debut EP. This release is a compilation of five songs that shine a light unto a personal side and honesty with oneself. Having touring credits with artists such as Anderson East, Wet Willie, and Casey James, and being an award-winning musician, Daniel’s is also credited with self-producing his release. As a co-writer for each song, Kyle nicely blends a mix of traditional country with a bit of blues, soul, and rock, picking up on influences from artists like Gregg Allman, Chris Stapleton, and Jason Isbell.
The radio-friendly opening track, “Hangover Town“, is a song about the difficult reality of sustaining a relationship. An upbeat song reminiscent of Lee Roy Parnell style and feel introducing Daniel’s raspy style vocals; it is an easily relatable song, with a catchy hook. Followed by “Keep on Rollin’” which has a message of persevering during hard times; Kyle keeps the driving beat going with another easy sing-along tune.
Next up is “Ain’t No Difference“, with guest Brent Cobb, who also helped co-write the song, and shared vocal duties. Taking it down a notch filling your ears with some smooth pedal steel, layered with some finger-picking guitar work, Kyle and Brent do a great job at blending their voices together for a flawless delivery. With its opening line, “there ain’t no difference between a man who has it all and a poor boy with a dream“, this well-written song draws you into acknowledging the harsh world we live in and the pushing to survive.
Track 4, “Halfway to Your Heart” picks it back up with a rockin’ vibe that gets your head bobbing and toes tapping; easily a tune to crank up the radio as you cruise down the road with the windows down with its good-time feel.
Closing out the EP is the tender-hearted “That Somebody Ain’t Me“. With just an acoustic guitar and showing some fragility in his voice, Daniel holds your attention one last time. A surprising, yet welcomed contrast to the rest of the EP, this song pulls at you with its inward look at how sometimes you just aren’t right for love, and the process of letting go so you can move on. This is a topic is relatable, as most have dealt with it at least a time of two.
Kyle Daniel has done a great job at putting together a collection of material that showcases many facets of his talent. Holding your attention with the vulnerability of lyrical content, well-balanced arrangements of catchy vocal melodies and the modern edge on the traditional country sound – I left wanted more than just these five songs.
Track Listing –
- “Hangover Town” (Kyle Daniel & Josh Mitcham)
- “Keep on Rollin’” (Kyle Daniel, Seth Rentfrow & Bart Allmand)
- “Ain’t No Difference” (Kyle Daniel & Brent Cobb)
- “Halfway to Your Heart” (Kyle Daniel & Jason Graumlich)
- “That Somebody Ain’t Me” (Kyle Daniel & Seth Rentfrow)
Senior Journalist: Michael Bragg