Fed up with the stifling demands of the Nashville machine, three years ago Kieran Kane and fellow artists Kevin Welch, Tammy Rogers, Mike Henderson, and Harry Stinson founded the label Dead Reckoning, which quickly became the town's finest artist-run imprint. But Kane's paid dearly for messing with the divine order: before the switch he had scored ten top-ten singles as a solo artist and as part of the O'Kanes, but due to Dead Reckoning's relatively modest clout, he's all but disappeared from the airwaves. That's too bad, because he's making better records than ever. His recent Six Months, No Sun streaks from point to point on the musical map, but its heart is true country. His themes are familiar--small-town suffocation, struggles with inner demons, and working one's life away--though some of them are delivered with a near suicidal moroseness that would never fly on a mainstream country release. And Kane gleefully parodies Nashville's chirpy vision of domesticity on "(You're Just) Takin' Up Space": "I have to admit you put me under your spell / If a man's a fool I guess I take the cake / But you can rest assured it's not the one that you baked." Still, despite the roadblocks he's thrown up for himself, Kane's catchy, easygoing melodies belong on the radio. Welch also performs. Friday, 7:30 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport; 773-525-2508.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Alan Messer.