Summer’s scorching temperatures may be starting to wane, but Kendall Beard is set to generate heat of her own among country, rock and pop fans with her new album, Here Comes Trouble, and its lead-off single, “Rock This City.” The album releases Oct. 19, 2018, on VMG/Broken Angel Records; the single is now impacting Texas radio, and she just taped some fiery live-performance footage for a soon-to-be-released video.
Beard wrote most of these tracks herself, except for four co-written with producer AJ Vallejo, who also performs with her in the Texas roots-rock band Love & Chaos. But this album carries her perspective; like the country ladies she loves — Loretta, Dolly, Shania, Miranda — it exudes girl power. But also like those women, Beard is not afraid to show her vulnerabilities, or express her needs and desires, in songs that venture well beyond the boundaries of traditional country.
“It’s about breaking free in the moment and coloring outside of the lines, going against the grain,” Beard explains. “I wanted to put something out that was a bit edgy; something that would stir up some talk.”
One blast of the catchy “Rock This City” should definitely start some chatter. But she’s got a full arsenal on this album; the season eight “American Idol” semi-finalist unleashes her powerful vocals on 13 dynamic tracks, from the melodic country-pop of “Johnny & June” (in which she envisions a love as legendary as theirs) and “Ready to Roll” (“I’m ready to rock/If you’re ready to roll!”) to the upbeat title tune and softer ballads such as “Run While You Can.” But as wild and free as she gets — especially onstage, where her blonde hair flies as she rocks out — this mama reminds us what’s important with the final track, “Both Feet on the Ground (Max’s Song),” written for her young son.
On this outing, the follow-up to her well-received debut, All Around Girl, Beard is joined by guests including fiddler Haydn Vitera (Asleep at the Wheel, Los Lonely Boys) and pedal steel player Dan Johnson (Hank Williams III), along with Vallejo members Aric Garcia on percussion, Bruce Castleberry on harmonica and AJ on guitars and other instruments.
In addition to her regular Thursday appearances at Austin’s legendary Saxon Pub, where she’s held a residency for two years with Love & Chaos, the Lufkin-raised Texas native has several other shows lined up in Austin and other Texas towns. The former CW Austin TV spokeswoman also will perform as a celebrity dancer in the 12th annual Dancing with the Stars Austin fundraiser for the Center for Child Protection, taking place Dec. 1 at the J.W. Marriott.