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Ranzel X. Kendrick, aka Alias Wayne Releases EP

Few songwriters/performers invest as much of themselves into their music as Ranzel X. Kendrick, aka Alias Wayne. Now based out of Costa Rica, the Texas born artist has a string of releases credited to his alter-ego Alias Wayne and perhaps the pseudonym provides him with an added creative jolt. It doesn’t matter to me – whatever helps him create songs like those included on his latest EP Fubar is fine with me. Not that he needs my permission either.


I confess to not hearing Kendrick’s music until I reviewed this EP. Redressing that oversight is a priority. It begins with throwing myself into Fubar, listening to these songs, and allowing them to reach deep within me. Each of the four songs did that. The first track “Love One Another” glitters with the promise of a brighter tomorrow. Kendrick adopts Biblical language and imagery to communicate his vision of a world free from the rancor, violence, and despair we see in the news each day. A lesser talent makes material such as this sound like sickly sweet tripe. Not so with Kendrick. “Love One Another” gets under my skin because of its sincerity, melodic grace, and undeniable soul.

He shrouds “Father Song” in poetic mysteries. The wordplay, however, isn’t full of sound and fury signifying nothing. It demands repeated plays to grasp his intent in full but reveals itself to attentive listeners. His acoustic guitar work during this song and elsewhere on the EP is one of the greatest virtues powering these songs and his instincts for further augmenting the songs never errs. “Father Song” gains immeasurably from the presence of strings. They bring added gravitas to an already meaningful performance.

Brass has a transformative effect on “Eight Ball in the Corner Pocket”. It’s a playful romp taken at a shuffle pace and keyed by Kendrick’s guitar. I hear plenty of jazz influence in this track, without question, but he filters it through his consciousness to produce an unique take on the form. Throwing in the sound of pool balls crashing into each other is a minor but neat choice that gives the song a dollop of added atmosphere. He’s having fun here and I did too.

“Window of My Soul” is a personal way to bring the EP to an end. Bringing us into such close quarters with Kendrick’s spirit doesn’t produce discomfort, however, but rather prompts us to reflect on our own lives. He is a master communicator through the medium of music and words and choosing this song to close Fubar out is the right decision. The moving flute playing in the performance is a final addition crystallizing the song’s sensitivity.

Alias Wayne’s Fubar is a worthy entry in a growing discography capable of standing toe to toe with any songwriter working today. The man behind this alter-ego, Ranzel X. Kendrick, is forever perfecting his art and we share the bounty of his journey. These four songs offer listeners different sides of his heart and dazzled me with their musicality. 

Mindy McCall



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