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Mystery Road

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Album Review

Though not as strong as Whisper Tames the Lion, Mystery Road keeps Drivin' n' Cryin' in search of the best way to fuse their harder rock leanings with their traditional Southern roots, as they vacillate from the crunch of "You Don't Know Me" to the wistful "Peacemaker." Peter Buck guests on electric dulcimer throughout. However, in the end, this is the least memorable record in the Drivin' n' Cryin' canon.

Customer Reviews

i-tunes review is way off base

I usually find the i-tunes reviews of albums pretty insightful, but this one is just completely misinformed. Any fan of the band will tell you this is D 'n' C's best record. The standout, anthemic "Honeysuckle Blue" and "Straight to Hell" have aged brilliantly and still pack an emotional wallop. The band had completely found its groove by this album, a perfectly sequenced series of southern rock anthems and ballads (the band's name "Drivin' and Cryin'" announces that intention). With the exception of a track or two (Malfunction Junction, Syllables), the album represents the band's songwriting and talents at their peak. Beginning with the subsequent album (Fly Me Courageous) and efforts to refine the band's sound (uh, sand away the edges and make it more nationally palatable), each record lost more and more focus until the band's original sound was all but lost (briefly resurrected for Telling Stories). Though out of print now, for another masterpiece of a record, try to find Kevn Kinney's solo outing, "Down Out Law." It's stunning.

After 20 Years, Still My Fave

I first bought this album after I heard the band live in South Georgia in '89 or '90 on tour supporting this record. All throughout the '90's, "Straight to Hell" remained a steady college-scene tune in Georgia. Other standouts include "Wild Dog Moon", "Toy Never Played With," and "Honeysuckle Blue". In my opinion, I prefer this album's material over some of the earlier work from "Whisper..." and "Scarred..." because it helped the band catapult into the national scene along with their '90 follow-up "Fly Me Courageous". Quite a few of these tunes remain favorites in their live concerts as the band continues to appear throughout the Southeast. If you like a mixture of early REM and the Black Crows rolled into one band, these guys and this album fit the bill.

i-tunes got it wrong

The i-tunes "review" has it wrong. This is a very solid and enjoyable d'n'c album.


Formed: 1985

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Formed in Atlanta in 1986, the hard-rocking, Southern roots music-steeped Drivin' n' Cryin' were never embraced on a national level, but have reigned supreme in the region during their tenure. Originally made up of singer/songwriter Kevn Kinney on guitar and vocals, Tim Nielsen on bass, and Paul Lenz on drums, the band's debut was the timeless hard rock/bluegrass fusion Scarred But Smarter (1986) on 688 Records, the label that grew out of the punk-era Atlanta club of the same name. The band followed...
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