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Frustrated by the over-commercialization of Nashville's music, six singer/songwriters joined together to launch an independent record label, Dead Reckoning, and a band, the Dead Reckoners. Taking turns in the spotlight and accompanying others, the all-star group brought a back-to-the-roots approach to a mixture of rock-, country-, and blues-influenced tunes. While they mostly furnished accompaniment on albums by labelmates, the full band joined together to record a live album, A Night of Reckoning, in 1996. The driving forces behind the Dead Reckoners -- Kieran Kane, Kevin Welch, and Mike Henderson -- represented many years of experience. A graduate of Boston's Suffolk University, Kane recorded a half-dozen Top 30 hits between 1981-1984. He continued to find success after forming the O'Kanes with songwriter Jamie O'Hara. Recording in Kane's home studio, the band released six consecutive Top Ten singles, including the chart-topper "Can't Stop My Heart From Loving You." A resident of Nashville since 1978, Welch first attracted attention as a staff writer for Sony Tree, penning tunes for Waylon Jennings, Roger Miller, Trisha Yearwood, Ricky Skaggs, and the Highwaymen. He went on to record two solo albums, Life Down Here on Earth and Beneath My Wheels, featuring the accompaniment of Dead Reckoning members. A former member of blues band the Snakes, Henderson became a highly respected session guitarist.
A label that's owned by the artists on its roster, Dead Reckoning releases music that is uncompromised in its vision. Night of Reckoning is a concept album, wherein it takes its title from a traveling revue that features Dead Reckoning artists and co-owners Kieran Kane, Kevin Welch, Tammy Rogers, Mike Henderson, and Harry Stinson backing each other musically and calling themselves the Dead Reckoners. A condensed studio-recorded version of the show, Night of Reckoning also features the playing of bassist Alison Prestwood and accordianist/fiddler/steel guitarist Fats Kaplan. The 12-tracks included here are inspired and showcase the excellent quality of artistry on this fine label. - Allmusic.com
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