A Night of Reckoning, the release from Dead Reckoning Records, takes its name from the labels' live shows in which the entire roster performs on stage together. The album, released in Spring 1997, unites the labelmates in the studio, performing as a band on every song.
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Artists/owners Kieran Kane, Kevin Welch, Mike Henderson, Tammy Rogers and Harry Stinson, joined by new Reckoners Fats Kaplin and Alison Prestwood, take turns up front and backing one another on this energetic collection of tunes that is not only a teaser for the Night Of Reckoning shows, but also a synergistic showcase for the Reckoners' individual talents. Above all else, it's an eclectic, rockin, roots-packed disc of American music, seamlessly melded together. After a carnivalesque invitation from 'barker' Harry Stinson, which adds to the disc's live feel, the Dead Reckoners open with Kieran Kane's "I Desire Fire," a rootsrock number featuring Tammy Rogers' lifting harmonies and Mike Henderson's fiery guitar work. Next up is Kevin Welch's "Crying for Nothing," a classic roots-pop ballad highlighted by Kaplin's expressive violin. Henderson cuts loose on the bluesy, percussion-driven "You Tell Me," and Kane comes back with a fresh take on "Rocky Road," an O'Kanes tune written with former partner Jamie O'Hara. One of the disc's highlights is "Workin' On It," a Welch-penned cut that is both a rocker and an anthem for the label. The Reckoners trade off on lead vocals, singing lyrics that tell the Reckoners' tale: sings Welch, "Me and my friends make music/That's all we want to do/We gotta take care of our business/So we can sing our songs for you." Stinson, long known for his beautiful harmony vocals, finally steps into the spotlight on "Always Will," a beautiful ballad he wrote with John Hadley. Then Welch offers up "Waiting for the Assassin," a masterful story song. Rogers takes center stage on the haunting "Pearl Earrings," followed by another gem "Too Much Love," from Henderson. A Night of Reckoning fittingly ends with an instant classic, "When We're Gone, Long Gone."
Collectively, the artist/owners of Dead Reckoning have contributed to the sale of more than 50 million albums. And since Dead Reckoning was formed two years ago, its name has become synonymous with great music made with integrity, and a rockin', all-out stage show. The Washington Post described the Night of Reckoning show as "the best of both worlds -- a guitar pull's variety of voices and an all-star band's full-fledged arrangements." A Night of Reckoning captures that experience. Above all else, the album is a collection of first- rate rock, roots and blues tunes that will make music lovers want to listen again and again.
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