13 Songs, 58 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

This ex-Del Lords’ and Dictators’ guitarist sticks to his brand of street tough rock n’ roll as it might have existed in the 1970s when the Bronx was burning and the doo-wop days of Dion and the 1950s still seemed within reach. The old school rocker uses his limited vocal range for no-nonsense tunes that are gripping in their sincerity and spine-tingling in their classic guitar tones. The electric guitar anchoring the title track is strong and lonesome, perfectly accenting the near country-rock harmonies that sneak quietly past the blistering instrumental offense. But Kempner’s no mere nostalgist; he believes in following certain truths to their logical conclusions. He’s a modern day electric singer-songwriter who’s grown up preserving his values by executing them with a superior flourish. Sixteen years in the making, 2008’s Saving Grace occasionally turns up the guitars (“Stolen Kisses”), delivers an attractive Nick Lowe-like pop rocker (“Between A Memory and a Dream”,) and a disturbingly intense cover of Bobby Womack’s unflinching “I’ll Give You Needles.” File under rock’s true believers.

EDITORS’ NOTES

This ex-Del Lords’ and Dictators’ guitarist sticks to his brand of street tough rock n’ roll as it might have existed in the 1970s when the Bronx was burning and the doo-wop days of Dion and the 1950s still seemed within reach. The old school rocker uses his limited vocal range for no-nonsense tunes that are gripping in their sincerity and spine-tingling in their classic guitar tones. The electric guitar anchoring the title track is strong and lonesome, perfectly accenting the near country-rock harmonies that sneak quietly past the blistering instrumental offense. But Kempner’s no mere nostalgist; he believes in following certain truths to their logical conclusions. He’s a modern day electric singer-songwriter who’s grown up preserving his values by executing them with a superior flourish. Sixteen years in the making, 2008’s Saving Grace occasionally turns up the guitars (“Stolen Kisses”), delivers an attractive Nick Lowe-like pop rocker (“Between A Memory and a Dream”,) and a disturbingly intense cover of Bobby Womack’s unflinching “I’ll Give You Needles.” File under rock’s true believers.

TITLE TIME
4:29
5:07
2:49
5:13
4:16
4:16
4:33
4:10
5:16
3:37
4:02
5:08
5:55

About Scott Kempner

Scott Kempner, the erstwhile guitarist for the New York-based proto-punk outfit the Dictators and former frontman of the Del Lords (Kempner's primary band for pretty much all of the '80s), continued making music well into the '90s and 2000s as a member of bands like the Little Kings and the Paradise Brothers, and as a solo artist. Kempner's first solo album, Tenement Angels, was released in 1992 on Razor & Tie (which at that point, incidentally, was practically in its infancy, having formed only two years previously); he was joined by Springfield, MO-based roots rockers the Skeletons for that release. Kempner essentially dedicated the next 15 years to working with the Little Kings and, later, the Paradise Brothers, but he didn't give up his solo work. His second solo album, a rollicking roots rock affair entitled Saving Grace, was released in 2008. ~ Margaret Reges

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