Kyle Henderson: Brand New Chance Review

Brand New Chance is the first solo record for guitarist/bassist/vocalist Kyle Henderson, former lead vocalist and bassist of the ’80s power-pop band the Producers.  The album marks Henderson’s entrance into the blues rock genre, and hopes to reestablish Henderson in the music world, after several years out of the spotlight.

Blues rock, by its nature, tends to produce a number of artists who are phenomenal guitarists and average vocalists, but Henderson is almost the opposite.  Henderson is a very good vocalist, gifted with a voice that is strong, powerful, and flexible.  Henderson’s intonation is spot-on, and he is very comfortable embellishing his vocal melodies.  His guitar playing is not bad, but, especially as a soloist, he simply isn’t at the level of a Derek Trucks or a Joe Bonamassa.  That being said, Henderson makes up for this in a variety of ways, mostly with his extremely powerful voice, but also with well-written and well-produced songs.

Henderson has a great ear for songs.  The songs are good, and the arrangements outstanding.  The band is together, the lead vocals are remarkably strong, and the guitar solos are decent.  The title track, “Band New Chance,” is probably the gem of the album, as it mixes Henderson’s power-pop/rock background with a slightly more traditional blues groove and harmonic progression.  Most of the songs on the album are more reminiscent of classic rock than they are blues, but that doesn’t stop them from being very good songs.  Among the other gems on the album are “Good People,” “Lucky Man,” and “Perfect Day,” which are the best true blues tunes on the album.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the weakest songs on the album are the more traditional blues numbers, such as “One Thing Everybody Wants” and “Let That Music Grab Your Soul.”  Henderson comes from a pop/rock background, and that is very clearly his strength.  When he tries too hard to sound like a blues guitarist and vocalist, it’s not all that convincing.  It simply isn’t who Henderson is.  On the other hand, when he incorporates blues elements into his pop/rock background, as evidenced by the songs in the aforementioned paragraph, the results are fantastic.  Henderson is a good musician, and has delivered a solid album.  There is little doubt that he will find himself back in the spotlight, as long as he doesn’t try too hard to be something that he is not.

The Review: 7.5/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Brand New Chance
– Good People
– Lucky Man
– Perfect Day

The Big Hit

– Brand New Chance

Review by Nik Rodewald

2 thoughts on “Kyle Henderson: Brand New Chance Review

  • November 7, 2013 at 11:39 am
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    Nik, thank you for this excellent review. I want to make a couple of comments that might better explain who Kyle is as an artist.

    Kyle’s background includes a healthy dose of British pop, rock and blues artists from the ’60s and ’70s—Cream, Ten Years After, Free, Animals, Stones, Beatles. So his blues rock music reflects those references in his songs and singing. Blues as a genre is big enough to include everything from the acoustic, Mississippi delta blues of Son House and Robert Johnson to the electric Chicago blues of Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf to the modern west-coast blues of Bonnie Raitt and Gary Clark Jr. to the powerhouse guitar blues of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Joe Bonamassa. In that mix is room for the “Abbey Road blues” of Kyle Henderson—a blues that centers around song, melody and vocal.

    Finally, to clarify, Kyle isn’t the main guitarist on the album, which information is contained in the liner notes, though he does play on the title cut, “Brand New Chance.” With that said, again for clarification, the guitarist is not and does not hold himself out as a “blues guitarist,” though he is quite talented in his own right.

    Thank you again so much!

    Reply
    • April 16, 2017 at 3:31 pm
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      Same Kyle that did a Christian album in 1985 ? Stan

      Reply

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