& Annie Kidwell
© 2000 NIPPDOG RecordsSoundbytes
Being a native of Bakersfield California, Don Kidwell's early musical influences included, Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and Red Simpson. Beyond Bakersfield Don's early musical tastes included Elvis Presley, Bill Anderson and The Beatles.
Don started playing the guitar at age nine and by the time he finished high school, he was working in professional bands, the recording studio, and on the road playing bass guitar with various bands. Over the years he has toured across the United States opening for several major artists.
Born in Southern California, Annie Kidwell was raised in a home filled with traditional country music. Her father played guitar with country bands all over Southern California. Annie remembers many Saturday afternoons as a child when musicians would gather at the house to play and sing. Annie counts as some of her early influences in country music, Marty Robbins, Merle Haggard, Roy Acuff, Elvis Presley and The Beatles.
Don and Annie met in 1990 at a club in Bakersfield, where Don was playing in the band, and they were married a few months later. They started a band and began playing in local clubs, then went out on the road to open shows for major artists such as The Dixie Chicks at the 1998 Fremont Experience in Las Vegas, Nevada.
After several years of writing and performing their original material, Don and Annie went into the studio to record their first CD, From 'The Streets Of Bakersfield' in 1999. They have now followed that with this latest album, "River Of Nightlife."
Containing 13 tracks, 7 are written by Don and/or Annie, while there are also good covers of the Jamie O'Hara penned "Feelin' Kinda Lonely Tonight," a hit for Shelby Lynn and Tony Joe Whites, "Rainy Night In Georgia," which has been covered by just about anyone you can think of.
Personal favourite's include the Don Kidwell penned "Nashville," a very catchy two stepper that did well following it's release to radio some time ago, the slow, pensive, "Hello Mr Lonely," the title track, "River Of Nightlife" and "It's Your Baby, You Rock It" a lively song, penned by Nora M Fowler and Brent Maher, that is sure to please the linedancers, as will the thumping, "Baby You're Gone," a bit too heavy for me this one!
The album closes with what for me, is the best track on the album. The song is Red Simpson's powerful and tragic, "Where Do We Go From Here Annie," a song that tells of a struggling duo of musician's, living on the road and going from town to town in the quest for success. (I'm sure many artists will relate to this one) Done solo by Don, with only his guitar for accompaniment and sounding like it was recorded in the middle of an empty room, with only one microphone, the song benefits from that simple treatment, so much so that it raises the hairs on the back of the neck. Wonderful!!!
Don & Annie class their songs as "real-life stories set to real-life Country Music." That's what they say Don & Annie Kidwell are all about. Well I have no argument with that. That's what makes Country music special and different from other genres. If they keep on serving up more like this, they'll do for me!!