Kenosha Kid Tells Stories Without Words

It’s refreshing to occasionally escape the ole comfort zone and cover something beyond the expected country or rock acts. Athens-based project Kenosha Kid plays instrumental jams with moments of eccentricity, but there’s enough pop sensibility on new album Outside Choices that the music sounds comfortably familiar to this jazz novice.

Bandleader Dan Nettles rounded up friends from far-flung places to bring seven new cuts to life. Despite the lack of lyrics, each song is emotive. Moods get swung in all directions as the horn section meanders around percussion and bass.

Nettles and friends’ M.O. seems to be telling modernized stories with jazz, infused with subtle hints of modern indie rock. Past projects included a 2008 reimagining of the score from Buster Keaton silent film Steamboat to a 2009 collection of songs inspired by Fahrenheit 451.

Overall, it’s a chance for fellow jazz newbies to have a high time with high culture without diving headfirst into something that’s way out there. As for those who dig jazz, they surely know by now that Kenosha Kid has long brought a touch of class to the Classic City.

Outside Choices is out Friday, September 1st. That night, the band celebrates with a show at Hendershot’s in Athens.

Photo by Jason Travis.