Outside City Limits

What I am (Fine Line Records)
Kevin Maines

By David Lilly

You know Alan, Toby, Kenny, Clint, Garth and Kevin ... right? Or is there one name that might not quite belong on that list? Well, see, I wouldn't know a lick of music by Messrs Jackson, Keith, Chesney, Black or Brooks if I heard it.

To my knowledge, the only thing that separates Nashville's Kevin Maines from those country-music superstar dudes is that I can't find a picture of Maines wearing a cowboy hat. He has a website, sings songs that are daringly opinionated, strongly patriotic, courageously sincere, tug on the heartstrings and would probably put him comfortably in that list of country artists, if enough people could hear his work. Hint: I strongly recommend What I Am to lovers of country music because, even though it is not music I like, it is good.

Maines is a good singer (the lady of the house says he's cute, too); he proves it on every song, including ballads like "Pretty Baby," "Just a Southern Thing" and the heart wrenching "Someday, Somewhere, Somebody." For those about to boot-scoot, the rocking numbers include "In the Yukon," "This Much is True" and the title song. In the midst of those is the uptempo ballad, "Yours." And the music is ripe for fans of the genre to harvest.

Visit Maines on the web at www.kevinmaines.com