Scott Kempner has long been a pioneer of alt-rock and country music through his many years as a leader, singer and guitarist for both The Dictators and The Del-Lords. He draws upon that rich tapestry of song construction for his solo venture, Saving Grace.
The title track display’s Kempner’s strong compositional skills and tension -wire lead guitar soloing. "Beyond the Pale" reveals the thoughtful, sensitive side of Kempner’s artistry, urging for a coming together of humanity. "Stolen Kisses" is a raw rocker, taking Kempner on a wild ride with a member of the opposite sex in pure Jerry Lee "Killer" Lewis fashion.
Kempner wrote almost all of the material on Saving Grace, and along with engineer Michael Caiati, he achieves an even balance between sailing, shuffling ballads and sizzling blasts of punk-laced country stompers. "Heartbeat of Time" shines, with the backing rhythm section of Bob Babbitt on bass and Ed Greene on drums, providing a broad canvass for Kempner to paint outside the lines on the Dimucci, Kempner and Carle number. It is his reading of Tommy Womack’s "I’ll Give You Needles" that truly amazes, stoking the long-hidden, back-porch pickin’ fire within the forceful tune.
As he raises the hairs on the back of the listener’s neck with brutal electric force on "The Secret Everybody Knows," Scott Kempner adds another riveting chapter to his diverse, spanning musical story with Saving Grace.
Saving Grace is out now on Megaforce.