There are times when a talent surprises you so much, and excites you so much, that you just have to tell everyone, wake everyone up, and shout it from the rooftops - Yates McKendree is that talented!
Born in Nashville and raised in a recording studio, multi-instrumentalist Yates McKendree grew up hearing and playing with many great musicians. Self-taught from age 3, music came to Yates naturally. Son of keyboard player/guitarist Kevin McKendree, Delbert McClinton's former band leader, Yates was raised in the recording studios as his dad played and engineered music from some of the most prestigious artists in the business.
Since the age of 10 Yates has been performing at top venues in Nashville, Music City, including The Bluebird Cafe, Ryman Auditorium, and 3rd and Lindsey. He has felt quite at home on stage, standing tall with his own six-string, jumping onto keyboards, and feeling quite comfortable on the microphone.
Yates McKendree has recorded with Teresa James and the Rhythm Tramps, John Hiatt, Black Stone Cherry, Seth James, and Delbert McClinton at his dad's Rock House Studio. Yates has
laid down guitar licks and served as an engineer on Delbert McClinton's award-winning 2019 release Tall Dark and Handsome. Yates McKendree won a Grammy Award for his role as an engineer and a musician on Tall Dark and Handsome.
He has enviable skills on guitar, bass, drums, and piano. His distinctly expressive voice and his ability to write stand-out compositions make Yates a uniquely gifted entertainer with the chops to back it all up.
There are solid originals written with outstanding Nashville Songwriter Hall of Famer 2022 inductee and multiple Grammy winner Gary Nicholson, two new instrumentals, and a batch of well-chosen deep cuts from the stars of blues and soul. These sessions raise the roof and lift your blood pressure!
Let's check out some of the tracks on Buchanan Lane:
"No Justice" showcases Yates playing all of the guitar, Hammond organ, bass and drum parts !! The man must be an octopus in the studio!
"The Out Crowd" is a piano-pleasing tribute to the 1965 Ramsey Lewis hit "The In Crowd.” This cut swings rowdier than Tarzan drunk at a jungle bar ! Kevin McKendree adds his own magic on the Hammond organ.
Tributes to B. B. King includes the 1965 gem "Ruby Lee", covered with Yates unique guitar style and distinctly soulful vocals and his original song, supported by the rock solid horn section; "Wise" which certainly has "B. B. " smiling wildly, eager to jump in, with Lucille by his side.
"Qualified" - dad's piano leads the second line into the Dr. Johns hit, the horns driving the funk forward, and the McCrary's sweet vocals adding to the mix. Yates McKendree's guitar work oozes the right amounts of that magical essence, and those unforgettable creole flavors, of the Crescent City.
T-Bone Walkers "Papa Ain't Salty" is more of a tribute than a cover with Yates Mckendree recreating that vintage T-Bone sound
“Brand New Neighborhood", a jump blues swinger first recorded by Fletcher Smith and his orchestra in 1953, shines a spotlight on the first-rate call-and-response of Yates on guitar, and Kevin on keys. Very cool daddy-o!
"Voodoo” is another unique track, a groove-driven instrumental slice of Meters funk that is served up just right by Yates and his dad, Kevin, exchanging riffs on guitar and organ. This one will certainly have you spell - bound!
Listening to Buchanan Lane is an amazing experience, a wildly enthusiastic musical smorgasbord that you will chow down with unrestrained gusto. An incredibly exciting release that is emotionally intoxicating, Buchanan Lane will certainly surprise you. Folks won't be asking "Who is he?" for much longer.
Reviewed by John Muller - North Jersey Blues Society of New Jersey
Label: Qualified Records - www.qualifiedrecords.com
Yates is backed by Kevin McKendree on piano and organ (also behind the control board ); Big Joe Maher and Kenneth Blevins on drums; Steve Mackey, upright bass; Greg Garner, electric bass; - and a rock solid horn section composed of Jim Hoke, sax; Andrew Carney, trumpet; Roland Barber, trumpet . Andrew White sits in on rhythm guitar on one cut while the McCrary Sisters provide background vocals. Yates McKendree adds bass and percussion to the mix.