Kenny Wesley probably isn't a name you're familiar with, unless you're a die-hard “So You Think You Can Dance” fan. However, with his debut album The Real Thing, Wesley has immediately established himself as a serious -and seriously fun- artist who's looking to bring funk back.
Welsey influences are undeniable – half the tracks on this album sound like great 70s funk, in the vein of Parliament or the Jacksons, with a heaping helping of current-day synthesizers on top. Wesley shines on these tracks, such as Real Thing and Taffy, with some down-and-dirty fuzz guitar riffs and hot drumming that make head-bobbing a virtual necessity.
Throughout his career, Rick Droit has captured the audience with his serene vocals, thoughtful lyrics, and compassionate style. Most of his songs and lyrics are interesting, and today that's a real accomplishment.
Many of Droit's songs have a slower tempo with minimal percussion and smooth vocals. His music values lyricism and vocals over rhythm. His voice is strong, often accompanied by stripped down arrangements or just an acoustic guitar.
Droit's current album Return of the Firehorse shows a level of mature songwriting seldom seen from today's younger artists. We get glimpses of more robust production on songs such as Wild Mustangs with the welcome contrast of Sara Hickman's voice. It's easy to appreciate his penchant for keeping things simple and articulate, but it often feels like he's holding back, reluctant to allow his songs to take on a life of their own.
Droit's 70's style Americana may lack the intensity that today's audiences crave. One should avoid operating heavy machinery while listening to Homeward, but what Droit lacks in power and intensity he makes up with enthusiasm and sincerity.
For fans of the Americana and folk genres, Rick Droit is a great artist to check out. He brings plenty of originality to the party and promises of increased success.