Well here’s a welcome comeback: Chris Denny, who was Arkansas’s most promising musical talent for so long that he seemed destined to remain forever stuck on a “greatest that never was” list, is back on the path. Today, the Wall Street Journal debuted the first song from Denny’s first album in seven years. It’s called “Our Kind of Love,” and it features guest vocals from the Heartless Bastards’ Erika Wennerstrom. A full-length, produced by Asleep at the Wheel’s Dave Sanger, a Grammy winner, is due Aug. 5 on Partisan Records. It’s called “If the Roses Don’t Kill Us.”
The Wall Street Journal said people were crying at the end of set by Denny at SXSW in Austin, where Denny now lives.
More from the Journal:
The Arkansas-born singer and songwriter didn’t intend to wait so long after 2007’s “Age Old Hunger” to make a new record, but the delay was largely self-imposed: Denny struggled for years with drug and alcohol addiction that nearly destroyed his career, and his life.
An album he recorded for Partisan Records after “Age Old Hunger” ended up shelved when it was too raw to release, and it was years before Denny cleaned up and reestablished contact with the label. After the singer finished recording “If the Roses Don’t Kill Us,” Partisan co-owner Timothy Putnam told Denny he wouldn’t schedule the release of the album until the singer had been clean for six months. It’s due Aug. 5.
Addiction is a primary theme in Denny’s Partisan bio.
Christopher Denny has a voice that will stop you in your tracks; a fervent Orbison meets Dylan tenor that fills his songs with a tremendous emotional pressure. It’s the voice of a Southern choirboy who attended the church of alcohol, drugs and self-destruction in a failed attempt to deal with his inner pain and conflicts. He has a gift for infusing simple words with raw sentiment and marrying them to haunting melodies that immediately capture your attention. “The album was inspired by my struggles,” Denny says. “The moments in my life that caused me the most hurt and brought me the most beauty. The songs deal with the self-loathing, fear and thoughts of inadequacy we all struggle with, something I call soft suicide.”
Mark your calendar: Denny returns to Arkansas for a show at Juanita’s