King's Daughters & Sons


Much could be said of the lineage of King’s Daughters & Sons, and where each member comes from is well-known: Joe Manning a troubadour with a gruff throat and a poet’s pen; Michael Heineman a singer and guitar player whose edge is soft and inviting; Rachel Grimes with a piano is tasteful and serene; Kyle Crabtree a drummer whose angles and flourish never diminish his raw power; and Todd Cook, whose warm, understated bass pays rounds to every note. Their roots have pushed deep into the soil of Louisville’s music — Rachel’s, Shipping News, Dead Child, Grand Prize, to start — and that understandably begs mention. But that is not what this is about.
The music of King’s Daughters & Sons is dense, thickly layered and emotional. It can be calculated and stark, overt and loud. The band is by no means redefining music made by guitars; rather, it is offering a new talking point to the discussion. These songs live somewhere between post-rock tinkling and road music. Manning’s twangy growl blends with Heineman’s smooth tenor and Grimes’ alto to construct sublime, creative harmonies, while the oft-fingerpicked guitars tangle atop a march of drums and bass. It is a grand and dramatic soundtrack with well-placed pauses and explosions that demand patience and grace among its players, and attentiveness of its listeners.
Manning is the storyteller, with a Woody Guthrie delivery, rushing only parts of the narrative that need the bump. The seemingly incongruent mashing of traditional lyric-driven country music and the post-rock sound for which Louisville is known is magical, but it’s not all tales of the King and his daughters and his sons. Other tunes are more theoretical, where Heineman and Grimes draw out single words, wringing from them last trickles of meaning. They wonder how we are where we are and comfort us to confront what we might find there.
That is, if we’re inclined to look.


If Then Not When

Label: Ba Da Bing Records
Release date: November 21, 2011

So begin’s King’s Daughters & Sons’ perfunctory press release and to be honest, that sentence encapsulates everything that is measured, elegant, powerful and articulate about this album. Given the musical pedigree at play here, it should come as no surprise that every note, drum beat and vocal has been employed with an economy few bands have the sense to muster.

King's Daughters & Sons - If Then Not When