by John Tarpley
The next time you log onto Facebook, do a search for "Make Kevin Kerby the Poet Laureate of Pulaski County," go to the page and "like" it. We may be a small group, about 50 strong, but we know that few other working scribes — certainly no songwriters — have written about the capital county with as much incisive wit and precise color as the wise (assed, usually) bard/barista/baseball fanatic. The fact that a native Texan is being drafted for a position that's been vacated since 1945 could and will draw a round of "boo hisses," but we'd challenge them to take "Beautiful & Bright" for a spin. His latest album, and his first with Battery, his top-notch backing cast, finds its muscle in a series of loosely-wound audio snapshots of Little Rock, wedged somewhere between Paul Westerberg's know-it-all scowl and Jeff Tweedy's ear for pop poeticism. Hopefully his debut on AETN's signature local music program will spread the message to the majority of folks who don't frequent music nights in Little Rock's finer beer bars. Thursday night sees Kerby & Co. debut a couple of new numbers, one accompanied by Kevin's young son. Tickets are free: RSVP at aetn.org.
Check it out: "Last Word on a Situation" (live at White Water Tavern, 2009)