Review: Kim Robins & Special Guests – Leave The Porch Light On

Kim started life with an early love for music but got a bit of a late start in the professional music world; college, careers and family can do that to anyone. The advantage of that late start is that all those life experiences add a depth to her recordings that you rarely seem to find, and you really get the feeling that she’s lived in her songs. Meanwhile she sure seems to be making up for lost time!

Leave The Porch Light On is Kim’s third album, and follows Raining In Baltimore on the Pinecastle Records label.

Bourbon, beer and moonshine, gambling and jail, love and jilted love, murder and a side of gospel, there’s a full menu of traditional bluegrass themes here, well mixed together by Kim and her special guests. And with such a wealth of well chosen songs there’s no worry of traditional themes ever going stale.

Leave The Porch Light On opens with “Johnny Clay”, a romp of a tale about a hard drinking, hard loving, moonshine running outlaw, how’s that for a traditional bluegrass kickoff?

The title song “Leave The Porch Light On” mixes the themes of life on the road,
wishing you were home, and a love song to come up with a heartfelt slice of life.

“I’m Not To Blame”, is a traditional country ballad that evokes Hank Williams “Your Cheatin’ Heart”, and is a great showcase for Kim’s top of the game vocals.

These are just a few examples of what you can find on this album. I’m learning that there’s a LOT of depth in this collection and that every time I give it a listen I find something new.

My favorite part of this album? “And Special Guests” isn’t just a sales blurb, Kim isn’t afraid to share the spotlight (including lead vocals) with a very talented crew. Of the special guests on this recording Clay Hess is another great Pinecastle Records artist, Josh Wood and the Estep’s step in from Kim’s former band, and Tim Crouch is a noted Nashville session player. Between them they fit together like family, no one is here for a cameo appearance, they’re all here for the music!

If you haven’t come across Kim in your prior listening you don’t know what you’re missing. Drop whatever you’re doing and put Leave The Porch Light On, and you won’t regret it!

Leave The Porch Light On Track Listing: 1. Johnny Clay (written by Daniel Salyer) 2. I’ll Always Be A Gambler (written by Joshua Woods) 3. Bourbon And Beer (written by Kim Robins, David Morris and Dawn Kenney) 4. Leave The Porch Light On (written by Kim Robins and Dawn Kenney) 5. Memories Of An Angel (written by Daniel Salyer) 6. Annalisa (written by Marc Rossi and Jeff Walter) 7. Seven Devils Ridge (written by Brad Davis and Paula Breedlove) 8. You’re In The Lord’s Hands Now (written by Marc Rossi and Jeff Walter) 9. Hurricane (written by Alan Johnston) 10. I’m Not To Blame (written by Terry Foust and Michael Bentley) 11. Can’t Be Anything But Love (written by Mark Brinkman) 12. Wind In The Valley (written by Rich Schleckser and Rick Lang) 13. I Won’t Have A Prayer (written by Greg Preece)

Musician Credits: Kyle Estep (guitar / lead vocals on track 2, 6, 8, 11) | Josh Woods (banjo on track 2) | Duane Estep (mandolin on all tracks) | Clay Hess (guitar / banjo on all except track 2, bass on track 2, lead vocals track 12) | Brennan Hess (bass on all except track 2) | Tim Crouch (fiddle on all tracks) | Vocals: Kim Robins, Kyle Estep, Duane Estep and Clay Hess

Pinecastle Records

Mark Hudson

Mark Hudson is a long time local HVBA member and music lover who, unfortunately, had to move away. He misses the local scene but will look for you at Greyfox!

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