“Is the Books-A-Million still there? That was the first place in the South to get espresso,” he recalls.
Kinney said performing in Alabama isn’t new to the primarily Southern band. They have played folk shows in both Anniston and Jacksonville, and in less than a week they’ll be back again. But as excited as they are to perform, this past year has been busy for the band.
Aside from solo work and tours, Kinney wanted Drivin’ N Cryin’ to release four new EPs, albums larger than singles but not as big as studio-length LPs — in 12 months.
According to the band’s website, the inspiration behind the EPs stemmed from Kinney’s wife.
“A couple months ago I was writing in the morning and my wife was listening to a record. She said I should record that song and I said ‘Well, I did.’ It was the last song on the last record. It dawned on me then that most people that listen to records don’t usually listen past five or six songs,” Kinney writes on website’s biography page.
Those who have grown attached to Drivin’ N Cryin’s classic hits should look forward to the EPs, Kinney assures fans, saying the new songs sound like old hits.
“They’re songs so good you’ll think you’ve heard them before,” he said.
Many of the band’s songs stem from Kinney’s daily observations — take for instance “Songs from the Laundromat,” a track from the first EP. Inspired by Kinney’s three sisters and daughter, “Dirty” conveys the message that women are beautiful without any makeup on.
“I like the natural look,” he explained. “I think women are beautiful in all shapes and sizes, until they start yelling at me.”
A song on the last EP was inspired when a new World Record Store popped up near Kinney’s home. The song, told from the owner’s point of view, is about commonalities and familiarities.
“If you go to Spain or Italy you can always talk about music at a record store,” he said.
Though the band enjoys playing the new tracks, they will perform a mix of their old and new hits at Rumble on Noble, Kinney said, including the popular “Fly Me Courageous” and, of course, their anthem, “Straight to Hell,” a song that “means a lot of different things to different people,” he said. “Some people feel empowered, some want to drink and some cry.”
Kinney said Drivin’ N Cryin’s performances can vary depending on how band members are feeling or the reaction from the audience.
“Sometimes we just have fun playing with each other,” he said. “The guys in the band are amazing because they have to know how to play more than 100 songs.”
But regardless of whether they favor their new stuff or the old hits at Rumble on Noble, Kinney said he expects the performance to be random.
“I guarantee this show will not be like any other,” he said.
Staff Writer Madasyn Czebiniak: 256-235-3553. On Twitter: @Mczebiniak_Star
IF YOU GO...
What: Rumble on Noble Motorcycle and Music Streetfest
When: Saturday, 2 p.m. to midnight
Where: Noble Street, downtown Anniston
Tickets: $15 plus tax, children 12 and under free
Info:Online at www.facebook.com/RumbleonNoble or call 770-943-4175