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CD REVIEW: The Planet Riders - Homegrown
By Don Sechelski - 10/26/2008 - 08:56 PM EDT

Artist: The Planet Riders
Album: Homegrown
Label: HomeGrown
Genre: Rock
Sounds Like: ZZ Top
Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Commercial Value: 10/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
CD Review: Occasionally a CD comes in that stands out so strongly from the rest that it is almost breathtaking. Homegrown, from The Planet Riders is such an album. When I slipped it into the player I certainly didn't expect this. The CD liner notes reveal that the entire project was recorded live over one weekend. No fancy studio here, the recording was done in a kid's bedroom without the latest state of art equipment. The notes even advise the listener to ignore the stray background noises like dogs barking.

What I found was a masterpiece of economical guitar work, an incredibly tight rhythm section, and infectious, well written pop rock songs. I listened to it twice that first time. I've listened to it repeatedly since then. This may be the best new rock album I've heard this year. And the fact that it was recorded live in a kid's bedroom just makes it that much more amazing.

The Planet Riders is a three piece band from Covington, Georgia, about 30 miles from where I sit writing this. Joe Kirkpatrick plays masterful guitar and provides gutty classic-rock style vocals. Brian Turk plays bass and Jere Kirk rounds out the group on drums. Joe Kirkpatrick had a hand in writing all the songs but all the band members contributed songs to the CD. It's the songwriting that makes this CD really stand out. The songs are economical, direct and pack a punch. Classic, catchy three minute songs with a driving kick. These songs rock. It's hard to pick out a favorite but I like Turn It Around and Who's Sorry Now. Kirkpatrick's guitar provides the band's essential sound but the kick is provided by the bass and drums of Turk and Kirk.

I've been telling everyone about The Planet Riders. I'm telling you now. Their new CD, Homegrown, is available at CD Baby. If you don't buy any other CD this year, buy Homegrown.

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