Klef Notes

Music Reviews

Chris Watkins & Drunk Poets – Our Generation’s Dylan and Hendrix

What can I say about Chris Watkins & Drunk Poets that has not already been said?  Well, let me see . . . . I can say that this guy and his band are truly rocking awesome and they put all of their competitors to shame.  Really, Chris Watkins & Drunk Poets should be the next opening act at next year’s Coachella.

But wait, let me first start by saying the obvious – Chris Watkins is a singer/songwriter from Alaska who formed, and is a member of, the Alternative Rock band “Drunk Poets.”  Although Chris hails from Alaska, he and his band are making waves in the US and the UK with their Alternative Rock music.

At first hearing Chris’ singing and writing, I at once told my sister and friends that he is our generation’s Dylan.  And to my surprise, when I first hooked up with Chris via Twitter, I had no idea one of his musical influences was Bob Dylan.  Yes, he has a Dylanesque approach to his music, but Chris takes poetic verses to a whole other level of soul, funk, and rock.

This is a capsule review of Chris Watkins & Drunk Poets’ most recent CD entitled “Lights All Askew.” 

On this thought provoking Alternative-Rock sensation, Chris invites us into his world with 10 tracks:

  

  1. Munich
  2. Looking Glass Life
  3. Soldiers and Dogs
  4. Ivory Towers
  5. Lasses and Ladies
  6. Dark Old Houses
  7. Broken Gate
  8. Cheerleader in Love
  9. Souls Midnight
  10. Lights All Askew


While every song on this CD makes for easy listening and great music anywhere, anytime, the five mentioned in this review are my favorites and I wanted to be brief.

“Munich” and “Looking Glass Life” are great preludes to Chris Watkins & Drunk Poets’ third track “Soldiers and Dogs.”

The intro on “Soldiers and Dogs” touts a mythical feel that is so evanescent – the gentle guitars are whispering in your ears and then the vocals come in and gains your direct attention.  The message of this song is truly candid in relating the reality of opposites in life that continue to make this globe turn.

Two songs down, we are greeted by “Lassies and Ladies” a mellow track filled with alliteration.  I just adore the soft way Chris vocally speaks his emotions in this cut.  This is very radio-friendly.  The hook of this song with Chris vocals laced with a female vocal is so sexy. 

Broken Gateis Chris Watkins & Drunk Poets seventh song and gets to the core of your soul quickly with its sliding-toe-tapping appeal.  This is reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix.  It is catchy, sly, and very ear-pleasing.

But, one of my favorite tunes off of his most recent album is entitled “Cheerleader in Love.” 

How many artists can have a message, a hook, melodies, and instrumentation that hit all on the right notes in just 2 minutes time?  Not many, but Chris accomplishes this in “Cheerleader in Love.”  This song takes me back to my high school days when we all are searching for our own identities and grabbing a hold of any moment that crosses our paths.  The female vocalist compliments the piece nicely. 

Lights All Askew” is the final song on the CD.  This track is so visual.  The opening lyrics “bright red and blue / the lights all askew in twilight” easily transports the listener into another method of thinking.  Seriously, I was moved into a deep thought.  This otherworldly feel is what makes this song so infectious.  The way the music follows each beat of Chris’ vocal successions it is like we are in some type of carnivalistic dance.  Awesome!  This is on repeat!

Chris Watkins & Drunk Poets’ music has an honest, what I call #NoRulesMusic, appeal in that it speaks to the audience’s heart and soul rather than try and appeal to the music industry’s cookie-cutter outline that is overused by Top 40 artists played on the radio and online.  The type of music Chris Watkins & Drunk Poets rock out was prominent in the 1960s and re-emerged in the 1990s as Alternative music and these guys are niche-approved.

The Wallflowers, another alternative band that includes Bob Dylan’s son Jakob Dylan, has a hit song called “One Headlight” and in my opinion, this could easily be called a music sibling of Chris’ works as they both ebb and flow with soul, rock, and folk.

And even though Chris has some similarities to Dylan and Hendrix, which is never a bad thing, he has wielded his own vocal prowess into the forefront which takes his band to the top.  In every song you hear Chris’ heart and soul.  Chris does not imitate; he does not duplicate; Chris just creates and we love it!

I chose to title Chris’ style of singing as “Floetry” because it is a constant, beautiful, flow of poetry from verse to music.  In addition, listen to how his lyrical compositions traverse between happy and sad or dark and light. 

Surely, Chris Watkins & Drunk Poets have the missing element that today’s music listeners crave – music, lyrics, and melodies that truly affect your emotions – gets you thinking.

Only Chris can sing about sorrow and still make you see sunlight – that is talent!

Which song of Chris Watkins & Drunk Poets is your favorite?  Comment and let me know!

To listen and/or purchase Chris Watkins & Drunk Poets’ music, go to:  http://chriswatkinsdrunkpoets.weebly.com/ and follow them on Twitter at @chrisdrunkpoets. 

 

Comments

I agree with the comment about universal appeal of this artist. Very authentic! Great review - which I am reading while listening to David Bowie!! :)
Great write up! Chris is a hugely talented songwriter and a very clever and thoughtful musician. I'm always impressed by his direct and economical approach to songwriting and Song delivery. I personally love In the Dark and They can't hurt you anymore but theres so many great tracks in his repertoire
KiKi this review is written so professionally. The way you touch on Chris's uniqueness as a singer/songwriter, and bring to the fore Chris and Drunk Poets talents is amazing!!! I love the singing style you chose for Chris "Floetry." Also I admire how you introduce the songs and gave a brief description of the tracks. From the intro to the finale this review is MAGNIFICENT! Reading this review takes me into Chris Watkins and Drunk Poets world of music. KiKi you are a great writer, Jehovah has blessed you with this gift. I'm proud to have a sister who is a writer and is showing her gift of words to the world. I love you!!! Kudos, Tonya

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