Personnel: Kepi Ghoulie (vocals, guitar, harmonica); Forest Pooky (vocals, guitar); Gwendolyn Giles, Lucy Giles (vocals); David Houston (mandolin, keyboards).
Recording information: Moon Studio, Sacramento, CA (11/2013); NSR Studio, Le Garde Ademar, France (11/2013).
After the dissolution of his long-running pop-punk band the Groovie Ghoulies in 2007, Kepi Ghoulie kept busy cranking out high-quality music of various kinds. He made some pop-punk records, a folky record, a kids' album, and a straight-ahead rock & roll album, all simple and catchy as can be. With Kepi Goes Country, the lovable Kepi does exactly what the title says and goes country, proving that his eminently catchy songs can transition to just about any style and make sense. He could go out tomorrow and buy a batch of synthesizers and make a really fun synth pop album of song with big hooks and a sweet heart. Here, the lilting tempos, chirping mandolins, hopped-up harmonicas, corn-fed harmonies, and Johnny Cash covers ("Ring of Fire," of course) all work in tandem with Kepi's unvarnished vocals, uplifting words, and singalong melodies to provide a country experience that even country music haters might like. That's the power of Kepi and songs like "She Gets All the Girls" and "Let's Do It Again" -- the guy just knows how to write 'em. Hopefully Kepi doesn't stay country, since pop-punk is his true home, but his side trip is a very pleasant one that any of his fans will be glad to take too. ~ Tim Sendra
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