The Running Kind
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The Running Kind

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Band Americana Country


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It is albums like this that get bands noticed and appreciated in the way they deservedly should be.

Taking their name from the Merle Haggard song, this Los Angeles band are fronted by husband and wife Leslie Ann and Matt Bosson, with Matt writing the original songs featured on this ten-tune album. Theirs is quite a story, for they grew up together as friends in rural western Massachusetts and years later they reunited and married. Joing them on this album is six other musicians who bring to the table some exquisite playing on drums, mandolin, trombone, pedal steel, both electric and acoustic guitar and piano. Leslie provides the main vocals, with a voice which instantly grabs your attention and it takes something really special to stop you from paying every little bit off attention to what this band has to say.

Consisting of three covers and seven original songs, A Okay is a perfect example of the latter. With a pure country opening, it has a different groove to it than the other song but this is merely a bonus and not a hindrance as it shows there are different stylistic settings to this band. The one song of theirs which isn't written by them is Return of the Grievous Angel. You can just imagine Gram Parsons' version when hearing this but as this interpretation is that good you picture this being the original due to the convincing style in which this band performs it.

Theirs is a style which others may dare to copy, but when The Running Kind get into full swing it takes one mighty force to beat them. Be sure to watch out for them, for material such as this shouldn't wander off into the sunset and not be heard again. RH

- Maverick Magazine

This is shit kicker music. Country western, beer-drinkin’, cowboy-boot clankin’ music. Pull on those Tony Lamas and dust off those Lee Jeans. You’ll be hittin' the honky-tonks, cryin’ in your beer, hee-hawin’ with your horse, and all the time there will be guitars, bass, drums, mandolins, piano, dobro, pedal steel, even a trombone, a-playin’ to entertain you.

You see, these boys can really get down. Leslie can sing a touch or two - so can George, Matt, Neil and Frank. You’ll be two-steppin’, a-waltzin’, box steppin’ and country swingin’. You will also be wantin’ to listen. So get yourself a cold one.

Matt and Leslie Bosson sang together in the Mt. Greylock Regional High School choir. Later on they married and came up with this here band, Running Kind, named after an old Merle Haggard tune. They got George Alexander to break out his Telecaster, Mitsuru “Neil” Fukusawa to bang on the drums and pick a bit of mandolin, Frank San Filippo to thump the stand-up bass and play an electric Fender, and Kevin Smith to tickle the ivories. Darlin' Jim D'Damery adds a bit of dobro to Running Kind’s song “Don’t That Make No Sense” and John Groover McDuffie, from Rita Coolidge’s band, dropped in and played pedal steel on the songs “Two Roads,” “A Okay,” “Seemed Like A Good Idea,” “I Still Love You (Like I Loved You Before),” “Return of the Grievous Angel,” and on “Don’t Cry No Tears.”

Here in the US of A country music outsells metal, rap, latin, jazz, new age, classical, Christian and soundtrack music. It has a long domestic history - it is a true American art form. Generally, it consists of silly lyrics, story-telling and “woe is me” love songs. The twang-tinged musicianship can be awe-inspiring like a Doc Watson guitar pickin’ instrumental or a Flatt and Scruggs duet. All these ingredients are combined on Running Kind’s album - The Girl For All The World.

Throughout this collection Running Kind taps into the various sub-genres of country. The song “Life To Go,” is a George Jones classic about a jailed woman doing a life sentence that tells her tale of woe and remorse. It is a ballad played in a style reminiscent of Marty Robbins’ hit song “The Chair.” The album’s title song “The Girl For All The World” is a story, unusual for country in that it could be interpreted as a lesbian love song, delivered in a mournful style akin to an Emmylou Harris slow ballad.

The next track, “Two Roads,” is the only song on the album written jointly by Matt and Leslie. Acoustic, electric and slide guitars, drums, keyboards and vocals all come together to form an excellent two-steppin’, twangy fandango about separation and reunion. It is followed by “A Okay” a warm, honky-tonk, love song featuring some stellar slide guitar work. Leslie’s voice on the track called to mind the vocal style of the late Nicolette Larson.

A bluegrass lilt permeates “Don’t That Make No Sense,” a song about life and how it changes us. The music, not the words, harken to Mungo Jerry’s 1970’s hit “In The Summertime.” Running Kind follows “Don’t That Make No Sense” with “Seemed Like A Good Idea,” a comedic ballad, complete with trombone, that is in the tongue in cheek style of Buck Owens. In fact, it reminded me of Buck’s classic “Pfft, She Was Gone.”

The album slows down for “I Still Love You (Like I Loved You Before)” a “somebody done done somebody wrong” song. The lyrics are typical country western fare over music that echos the song “Anna (Go With Him),” written by the great Arthur Alexander, but, probably better known from the hit cover version by The Beatles on their 1963 album Please, Please Me. After “I Still Love You (Like I Loved You Before)” the band plays “Old Girl,” a blockbuster of a country/folk/rock/alternative crossover tune that has more of a relationship to an Outlaws or Marshall Tucker Band song than it does to traditional country western. This one could play, and become a hit, on country, rock, alternative and folk radio stations.

The last two songs on the album are covers. Gram Parson’s “Return of the Grievous Angel” is about as country a country ballad as you can get. Running Kind gives it an even greater yee-haw treatment, and a slightly more upbeat tempo, than Gram Parsons did on his album Grievous Angel. The song is about coming back to one’s love after time on the road. The album culminates with a cover of Neil Young’s “Don’t Cry No Tears” a short ballad about lost love. It is played in a more polished manner and in a traditional country style rather than in the folk-rock style of Neil Young & Crazy Horse on their album Zuma.

Any old cowpoke worth their boots will tell you that there are two types of shit-kicker music - good and bad. Partner, this is the good shit.

- Old School

- The Ripple Effect

California’s country music history is deep, from Buck Owens’ Bakersfield sound to the late ’60s country rock movement and on to modernists such as Rich Shea and Jenny Lewis. Now there is the Running Kind, a quintet named after a Merle Haggard tune and led by husband-and-wife team Matt and Leslie Ann Bosson. On The Girl for All the World the band shifts from honky tonk to country rock with assurance. Leslie Ann’s classically tinted voice has little twang, but her sweet Sandy Denny-esque style brings contrast to country cadences.

Covers include George Jones’ prison lament “Life to Go,” a Linda Ronstadt-ish rendition of Gram Parsons’ “Return of the Grievous Angel” and an energized interpretation of Neil Young’s “Don’t Cry No Tears.” The best songs are originals such as tough-minded “Old Girl” and “Don’t Make No Sense,” where Matt and Leslie Ann duet like Richard and Linda Thompson, while Matt echoes Michael Nesmith’s comedic tone on swinging “Seemed Like a Good Idea.”

Grade: B

The Girl for All the World is currently available.

By Doug Simpson -- Campus Circle

- Campus Circle

Having taken their name from a 1977 Merle Haggard song, the husband and wife team of Matt and Leslie Bosson cover songs by George Jones, Gram Parsons, and Neil Young on this, their second release. Alongside the three covers, there are seven originals with Matt and Leslie exchanging lead vocal duties throughout. Album highlights include the gorgeous title track and the galloping twang of "Old Girl," which showcases George Alexander's storming electric guitar.

By Pasquale Iannone -- Under The Radar magazine (Summer 2010)

- Under The Radar Magazine

The Running Kind is like a poppy, female-fronted Johnny Cash band, complete with fights and deceit, humor and longing. Many of the songs have a male singer along with the female voice, and unlike Johnny Cash, the band is hopeful rather than cynical. [Seven] of the songs on "The Girl for All the World" are originals.

Guitar solos remind you of the 1970s, and a nice twangy sound is also reminiscent of the alt-country of the 1970s. A slow, plodding track here and there provide a counterpoint to more upbeat songs, but overall, the whole album is mid-paced and would be a nice, kick-your-feet-up-for-awhile listen. It could also provide some great tracks for throwing into a country-rock mixtape.
--John Shelton Ivany - Top 21 Reviews

It's ironic that the Running Kind named themselves after the Merle Haggard lament about wanderlust, because the local country-rock band is the very portrait of domestic bliss. Lead singer Leslie Ann Bosson and guitarist/songwriter Matt Bosson are married, and the rest of the group — lead guitarist George Alexander, drummer Neil Fukasawa, bassist Frank San Filippo and pianist Kevin Smith — fit in comfortably like members of an extended family. On the Running Kind's new CD, The Girl for All the World, Leslie Ann's operatic purity and Matt's down-home counterpoint twist together into some nice harmonies, while Alexander lights things up with judicious honky-tonk sparkle. Matt is a pleasantly tuneful writer, but he's more interesting when he gets deeper and darker, exploring the bittersweet contradictions of love and wanderlust on the title track and "Old Girl," which fit in best with the sextet's low-key covers of George Jones' "Life to Go" and Neil Young's "Don't Cry No Tears." The Running Kind precede former Continental Drifter Gary Eaton's country-rock combo Kingsizemaybe with an early-evening set at the no-cover, all-ages hoedown Grand Ole Echo, 6:30 p.m.
(Falling James)

-- LA Weekly Music Pick of the Week for Sunday, September 12 at the Grand Ole Echo

- LA Weekly


The Girl For All The World - 2010
Very Far - 2006



Borrowing their name from the Merle Haggard tune, the husband and wife team of Matt and Leslie Bosson formed The Running Kind into a band that is the sonic sum of many musical parts. Leslie, who has a love for country music and also studies opera, claims that what the two genres have in common is “You get to tell great stories with a strong vocal line.” Matt, a former member of the Massachusetts punk band Beatrice and the LA rock outfit Lonesome Pie, downshifted a little and challenged himself to write in a more emotive voice while drawing his thematic inspiration from the music of Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and certainly, Haggard.

While the blend of the Bosson’s voices has been compared to other duos like Johnny & June, John Doe & Exene and Richard & Linda Thompson, their unique sound sets the The Running Kind apart from those pioneers along a track all its own. “We like to play some traditional country numbers, but we also like to rock,” says Matt. “We’re always trying to make music that’s a little more expansive, arrangement-wise.”

This 10 Song collection demonstrates what’s best about Americana music today. Strong songwriting, terrific harmonizing and deft musicianship combine to make a potent mix of tradition and innovation that comes together in ways both fresh and familiar.