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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Kiefer Sutherland

Down in a Hole

Review by Gary Hill

I've always liked Kiefer Sutherland as an actor, but I wasn't sure what to expect from him in terms of music. I have to say that I'm impressed. Sutherland has a very strong voice. the music here leans toward roots music with a range from country folk and blues to hard rock. It's not far removed from the kind of thing John Mellencamp does. Jude Cole produced the album, and also did some writing and playing. I guess you could imagine that the set is better for that, too. The thing is, Sutherland's voice is incredibly strong, so it would carry it anyway. There is some serious competition racking up, but this is in contention for my best of 2016 list.
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 5 at
Track by Track Review
Can't Stay Away

I really dig the slightly raw roots rock sound that opens this cut. As the band join, and the piece really kicks into gear, it works quite well. This is classic sounding stuff. This isn't far removed from the more rock oriented stuff one would expect from John Mellencamp. There is some smoking hot vintage guitar soloing built into this beast.

Truth in Your Eyes
Even more roots based, this is a bit mellower. It's more of a country turned folk kind of piece. It's still classy stuff, though.
I'll Do Anything
This lands even more in the folk ballad style. It's less raw and roots oriented in some ways, though. I really like this cut a lot. It's very accessible in a lot of ways.
Not Enough Whiskey
A mellower, bluesier kind of country ballad, this is great stuff.
Going Home
A definite rocker, there is almost a bit of a punk element at play here. This is such a cool song. The music is solid and the vocal delivery just plain rocks. This is definitely one of my favorites here.
Calling out Your Name
From one great song to another, this is a contender for best song here, too. It's a powerful balladic number. The vocals are packed with emotion. This is just such a classy cut.
My Best Friend
This ballad is a folk styled number. It's very much the kind of thing that would have been at home in the 1970s. While it's not as strong as the last couple tunes, I like it a lot. The more powered up sections of the cut are more along the lines of 70s rock.
Shirley Jean
Down home country sounds are on display here. Still, folk music is part of the concept, as well. Although this is a bit simpler, it's also one of the most compelling. It's catchy and homey.
All She Wrote
The vocals on this track are gritty, mean and just so classy. This is a smoking hot blues tune that's another highlight of the set. The female vocals add a lot of style, but the cut is just jam-packed with that thing even without them.
Down in a Hole
The title track is more of a hard rocker. It's still packed with a lot of blues. This is classic stuff, and very cool. It does resonate to quite the level of a couple of the other pieces, but that's more about the strength of those cuts than any weakness here.
Gonna Die
Blues rock is the idea here. This is another particularly strong tune. It's evocative and powerful. It's also a great closer. There are some rather soaring, trippy elements in some of the overlayers, too.
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