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Royal Wade Kimes - Snow
By: George Peden, CSO Staff Journalist

There’s something about Royal Wade Kimes. I’m not sure whether it’s his velvet growl, or the pistol-packing image of a saddle singing cowboy. But whatever it is, the release of an RWK album always comes welcomed. Best remembered across his catalog for weepers about leaving and loving, tales of cheats and crooks and the sheriffs who chase them on horses with attitude -- all confirmed with Kimes’ honesty of being a descendant to some Ozark Mountain bank robbing outlaws—he’s a cowpoke’s cowboy. He’s the real deal.

Kimes, a former rancher for Loretta Lynn and singing partner of Garth Brooks ("Night Birds" on Kimes’ release A Dyin’ Breed), has traded campfires for mistletoe and saddles for Santa on his latest release. Snow (Wonderment Records), is a timely stocking stuffer. It features 10 Christmas tunes. For this former car salesman, who recently received a commercially backed commemorative Freedom rifle made to honor his belief in the right to bear arms, the album shows a softer side.

“White Christmas,” a 1954 yule-tide memory of Bing Crosby (okay, so I’m getting older), is a glorious album opener. With delicate shades of mild orchestration, some subtle guitar and piano, Kimes stirs and creates the right mood. It’s a mood that’s homely and reflective – just like the holiday season. The voice as always is pitch perfect. And on an album like this, he proves, again, he can sing anything. But Kimes not only sings, rather, he shares the spirit of a special season.

Kimes’ album allows us to revisit songs played at Christmas, but because of the season’s pace are not often heard. How long has it been since you listened, really listened, to the Willie Nelson-penned “Pretty Paper”? It had been ages for me. But this album standout, telling of the holiday magic of ribbons, decorated paper and joyous reunion, also draws into focus the homeless and those for whom Christmas won’t be a family dinner or presents under the tree. Kimes sings with feeling. Simply, he shades the tune into a melodic experience that can’t help touch those listening. It’s a moving contradiction on celebratory times.

Staples like “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”, the rocky and countrified “Blue Christmas” and the evocative “Silver Bells”, are all pleasing renditions etched with unique styling. “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”, “Away In A Manger”, which Kimes empowers to greater meaning with honeyed harmony from Adie Grey, is a holiday memory, so too is “Silent Night”. The album rounds out, beautifully, with the self -penned shuffler, “Mistletoe”.

Royal Wade Kimes is first and front a cowboy at heart. His passion is the cowboy way. His earlier albums throwback to images remembered so well on the big screen on weekend afternoons. Now with this new outing, he’s sharing sentiments and songs that, given the season, are tunes even Saturday afternoon range-ridin’ cowboys can call their own.

There’s something about Royal Wade Kimes. Find out what it is. Buy the album.

Buy The CD Now!

Official Site: www.royalwadekimes.co 

Snow song list:

1. White Christmas 
2. What Child Is This 
3. Pretty Paper 
4. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town 
5. Silent Night
6. Blue Christmas 
7. Silver Bells 
8. I'll Be Home For Christmas 
9. Away In A Manger 
10. Mistletoe 


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