Drivin' N Cryin' brings electric sounds to Max's On Broadway this Sunday


Thursday's Soundcheck column incorrectly reported tha Linda Ronstadt would be performing with the Bulgarian State Female Choir at Painters Mill Theatre on March 31. The choir will hold a concert that evening, but Ronstadt is not on the bill. The Evening Sun regrets the error.

Sitting in on Kevn Kinney's acoustic show with Peter Buck last Valentine's Day at Max's On Broadway, it wasn't easy to believe that the Atlanta songwriter had a rock 'n' roll heart.

Belting out gorgeous ballads and folksy tales of the South, Kinney looked more like a Dylan "wannabe" than the kind of guy who even owned an electric guitar. The album he and Buck of R.E.M. were supporting is called "McDougal Blues," but don't allow that soft title to fool you.

Kinney's latest effort with his band Drivin' N Cryin', "Fly Me Courageous," is as good a hard rock album as you'll find in the bins this season.

Drenched in driving, electric sound and radio friendly rhythms, Kinney said the harder sound his band has taken on has hardly been intentional.

"It's not where I am as a songwriter but where the band is as a team," Kinney said. "I think we've always been a rock and roll band, but I also like to do other things and its shown on the other albums."

On Drivin' N Cryin's past four records, critics have praised the music but admitted that being daring enough to have lush ballads, blues, country and rock all back-to-back has been commercial suicide.

"I like doing it all, but I think if we had dropped something off of 'McDougal' into the middle of 'Fly Me Courageous,' people would have been saying 'What is this?,' Kinney said. "If we hope to sell any albums we have to keep the music like this. That's why I did 'McDougal' last year -- to get all of that acoustic music I wrote out there so the band could go on into the rock and roll."

Kinney and Drivin' N Cryin' return to Max's On Broadway Sunday with an all electric show that, Kinney said, will mirror the sound of the new album.

"We had been doing two or three acoustic songs in the middle of the set but that just takes more time away from our other songs," Kinney said. "We have five albums now, and it's hard to find time to play everything we want to play."


The concert calendar . . .

Also coming to Max's, They Eat Their Own (tomorrow), Tough Luck (Saturday), The Jody Grind (Tuesday), Ritchie Havens (Feb. 21), Koko Taylor (March 14) and An Emotional Fish (May 8).

Performing at the Capital Centre are Neil Young, Sonic Youth and Social Distortion (Feb. 27), INXS (March 1), Sting (March 7) and Paul Simon (March 13).

Simon also will be at the Baltimore Arena (March 12), as will Vanilla Ice ( March 31).

Hammerjacks has a pair of comedy shows: Joe Piscopo (Feb. 16) and Sam Kinison (March 23), as well as its usual assortment of rock music, including Winger, Extreme and Tangier (March 2 and 3).

Painters Mill has a full slate of shows including Slayer and Testament (Feb. 16), Bob Dylan (Feb. 22), Kentucky Headhunters and Travis Tritt (March 16), Bulgarian State Femal Choir with Linda Ronstadt (March 31) and Cocteau Twins (April 1).

The Replacements will appear at Shriver Hall at Johns Hopkins University on Feb. 28.

Coming to D.C. are The Soup Dragons at the 9:30 Club (Sunday), Hall and Oates at D.A.R. Constitution Hall (Feb. 19), The Rembrandts at the 9:30 Club (Feb. 21), Living Colour and Urban Dance Squad at Smith Center (Feb. 24), The Replacements and The Connells at Lisner Auditorium (March 4 and 5), Nelson and House Of Lords at Lisner (March 10).

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