First things first, all of you should probably watch this. You may have seen this video several years back when it gained quite a bit of circulation around YouTube. This is the music of The Reign of Kindo, a jazz-rock group hailing from Buffalo, New York. In April of 2010 they released their second studio album, and third release in total, called This Is What Happens on CandyRat Records. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the label, CandyRat is one of my most trusted sources for beautifully written modern acoustic music. Musicians like Jon Gomm and Andy McKee, two of the most notable percussive fingerstyle guitarists, are represented by the label. In short, its catalog is stocked to the brim with remarkable music quality. So then, back to This Is What Happens. What exactly is it that happens? Press on, dear reader…
If you think about it, the world’s population of music enthusiasts can essentially be divided into two categories. There are those who value originality and advanced musicianship above all else, sometimes to the point of pretentiousness and condescension towards “lesser” artists. Then there are those who don’t care about any of that; they just want to dance around and sing catchy melodies. Both groups have their limitations, but luckily that’s where The Reign of Kindo comes in. Their music combines elements from both of these viewpoints into a single cohesive style, and the result is an extraordinarily melodic collection of tunes, rich in originality and soulfulness.
So this is now the second album I’ve featured in the past week that was made over thirty years ago. As a matter of fact, this very first album from the soon-to-be iconic group Santana, was released forty-four years ago in August of 1969. Think about that for a second. You may not have even been alive when this album came out – I certainly wasn’t. To put this in a bit of context for you, The Beatles would release their swan song record, Abbey Road, about a month after Santana debuted. Led Zeppelin would release Led Zeppelin II about a month after that, and Pink Floyd’s Ummagumma would hit record stores the following month, November. All of those classic rock records your parents listen to? Yeah, this album precedes most of those (not quite all of them, though). The question is, why am I going so far back in time with these album reviews? Why not focus more on the newest releases?
Well first of all, over half of my posts feature albums from the past two years, so I certainly wouldn’t say I neglect the newer material. As a matter of fact, I pride myself on keeping up with the latest and (hopefully) greatest from each and every artist I follow. That being said, it’s simply impossible to fully appreciate the extent of how far we’ve come as a musical society without acknowledging our heritage. We’ve all come to accept this as fact – it’s why we always want to know the origin story of all our beloved superheroes, or why we study history in school. By learning from the past, we can understand much more about the present, and we can use such knowledge to better prepare for the future.