Matt Kennon Collects Twenty of His Best

It’s difficult for me to comprehend how Matt Kennon has not met with more success as a Nashville songwriter, let alone a recording artist in his own right. Having listened to an awful lot of current country music over the past several years, I can testify that his material is not that far removed from what packs amphitheaters with cowboy boots and bellbottoms in the summertime, in that it’s basically what used to be called Southern Rock with a little more studio polish, a lot more pop hooks and plenty of familiar recurring lyrical themes: small towns, whiskey and/or cold beer, patriotism, pretty women and pickup trucks.

Actually, the Conyers native aims directly for the heart with deeper subject matter more often than not, so maybe he’s just a tad too earnest to get played on country hit radio. Still, in my head I could hear any number of name-brand country artists putting their stamp on the songs collected on his new Best of Matt Kennon CD. But man, Nashville nowadays is a very offputting quagmire of contacts and cliques and songwriting-by-committee, so what do I know? Anyway, Kennon’s 20-song CD – an expanded version of a similar 2017 downloadable collection, with a couple of freshly written-and-recorded tunes – is only available, as far as I can tell, through his website or at live shows.