Creating a fictional musical artist on a TV show then releasing an album of songs for said made up artist is nothing new. While much of the music is poorly written corporate garbage with the sole purpose of making a buck off of the name of the TV show or the popularity of its stars, every so often you get a true gem such as the Archies, the Monkees or the Blues Brothers. This only happens when the right team of songwriters, musicians and singers are pooled together on the project. On the record Cherlene, songs from the TV show Archer, this is exactly what has happened.
Turning one of the main characters of the hit FX show Archer into an “outlaw country” star the creators of the show enlisted the service of Kevn Kinney. The front man for the ever popular rock band Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ as well as a critically acclaimed solo artist has assembled a collection of songs – some familiar, some not – that would stand alone as a regular album, much less a TV show soundtrack. With a crack band assembled and songs in place all that was need was a singer, enter Jessy Lynn Martens. Here sultry Southern voice brings the album to life and offers up a different perspective on the songs. Hearing her belt out “Straight To Hell” (Drivin’ n’ Cryin’), Chattahoochee Coochie Man (Kinney) or “40 Miles of Mountain Road” (Kinney) is strange at first, but when the music ends you realize just how damn good it is. Well known songs such as “Eastbound and Down” and “Please Don’t Go” are given a fresh new approach and Marten’s duet with Kenny “K-Log” Loggins on “Danger Zone” is worth the price of the record. The humorous “I’ll Burn It Down” and the sultry “Gypsy Woman” will rattle around in your brain for days keeping you singing or humming the tune, but the pièce de résistance has to be the reworking of Kinney’s tune “Broken Hearts and Auto Parts”. One of the best written songs of his career it is an iatrical part of this record.
When you first hit play there will be some level of skepticism, but trust me this is a good album. If you dig classic country twang, sultry vocals and some mighty fine guitar picking then this is the record for you. You do not have to be a fan of the TV show to like this album all you have to do is like good music. However, watching the show and having a little background on the artists does help out. So go give it a spin and if you dig the music here then go check out the tunes of Kevn Kinney.