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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Standing on a Rock is a 17-year journey of dedication and determination. Dewey Kincade and the Navigators kick off this country rock masterpiece, mixed by Grammy-nominated producer Andrew McKenna Lee, with lyrical dexterity and rock and roll rumble.

From the opening chords of "Why" to the delightfully gritty guitar solo in "Roll Baby Roll", each track on the album flicks between ageless realizations with a varied and dynamic approach. "Why" sets the tone. Its earnest lyrics relate everyday struggles while the guitar chugs away, pulling us along for the ride, line by musical line.

Up next is the pep talk of "When Your Ship Goes Down". But it's hope mixed with an intervention. "When your ship goes down, where're you going to run to?" he asks. Whatever storm you're in, you can feel the world rock alongside The Navigators.

The titular track, "Standing on a Rock", and "Good for You" both immediately strike you with a heartfelt vocal timbre and infectious hooks. But the most striking opening comes from "I Crossed the Water". A soulful harmonica paves the way for the emotional depth of a chorus.

The first half of Standing on a Rock has excellent songwriting, but "As the Walls Fall Down" strikes a particular chord with a guitar that laments and celebrates at the same time. It's like a conversation meandering through the heart, replying to each lyric in kind.

The instrumental introspection gives way to a poetical one. "To Build a Fire" provides koan-like statements over ever-present ethereal chords shimmering underneath. "There is no answer in the asking," but there is a rapt audience.

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"Cold" showcases Dewey Kincade's brilliant storytelling prowess. You can imagine him sitting on a barstool, crooning the raw honesty and emotional depth in each line. Finally, "Roll Baby Roll" closes the album. As the longest track on the whole album, it's almost like they don't want the music to end either. From start to finish, it's an intricately crafted conclusion that makes you want to start up "Why" again.

Each track on Standing on a Rock feels like Dewey Kincade and the Navigators spent every second of those 17 years crafting them to bend our hearts and ears. From pops of instrumentation that burst out of the harmony to lyrical twists that hold your brain tight and never let go, this album is worth hitting repeat on.

Stream Standing on a Rock below.

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