Review Archive

‘West’ from The Kennedys - setting scenes and enticing you to join the journey

(February 25, 2015)

The Kennedys, have carved a twenty-year career that has seen them take their brand of rocky folk-pop further into their musical soundscape increasing depth and breadth with each successive recording. From The Kennedys - WESTthe days of ‘Evolver’ and ‘Get It Right’ to ‘Better Dreams’ this American folk duo now releases ‘West’ on 13 April, preceding a UK tour at the beginning of May. 

Pete and Maura Kennedy have taken their music across many a mile and that’s evident in the collection of narratives offered through ‘West’. This may not be a ‘road album’ by design but it sure as hell carries the spirit of miles travelled, people met and experiences felt. The songs ‘take you there’ even if you don’t know the roads themselves or you’ve never left your own front porch for the highway just to find out where it goes.

The title track ‘West’ hooks from the first, and that’s what this album offers hooks by the shovel-load, instantly enduring hooks, guitars plush and resonant with voices sliding around each other to lay down their stories. It’s pretty much ‘take your pick’ to find that luscious attraction, it's everywhere - listen to the lyrical ‘Sister of the Road’, the soaring expanses of‘Signs’ the eternal optimism within ‘Jubilee Time’ and the wholly delicious ‘Locket’. The key to this album is its presence and atmosphere, setting scenes, carving pictures and enticing you to join the journey. For my money the killer track is ‘Black Snake, White Snake’ - but it’s a certainty that finding a favourite here is not difficult.

The Kennedys - Maura Kennedy (vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion) Pete Kennedy (vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, electric sitar, banjo, mandolin, mountain dulcimer, organ, glockenspiel, bass, trap kit). This album is the first in a three-disc release schedule from the duo for 2015.

Reviewer: Tom Franks

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