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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Proper Records artist: Bap Kennedy - Let's Start Again - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (February 3, 2014), Let's Start Again, from Bap Kennedy and it's quite entertaining. Opening with the title track, Let's Start Again, Kennedy creates the feel of real wholesome American country (rock) music. Very clean and straightforward with Richard Nelson on pedal steel, the band sounding quite like Gram Parsons. Excellent! Revelation Blues is a bit more fast paced with John Fitzpatrick behind the melody on fiddle and Rabb Bennett on train like drums. Another strong track. If Things Don't Change is a boogie track with slide giving it a bit more of a relaxed feel. Kennedy is an excellent song writer and backing vocals by Maura Donaghy, Mudd Wallace and Tony Hughes add substantially to the feel of the track. King of Mexico has a simple pop sound with a south of the border/Caribbean feel. Song Of Her Desire is a zippy little ballad. Again, well constructed this is a track that could easily reach strong airplay. Radio Waves is another strong candidate for airplay with nice vocal harmonies with Brenda Kennedy and simple country styling. One of my favorite tracks on the release is Heart Trouble, a "Texas" swing track with nice touches by fiddler Fitzpatrick and steel melody by Nelson. A cool instrumental interlude on steel and fiddle, complimented by John McCullough on keys highlights this track in my mind. Under My Wing has a light Caribbean rhythm and Kennedy's vocals shine along with clean acoustic guitar riffs. Strange Kid is a clever little track with an almost Harry Nilsson like flare. Highlights on mandolin by Noel Lenaghan, as well as Nelson on steel, and Gordy McAllister on electric guitar add to this bright playful track. Fool's Paradise has a definitive sound of "the islands" with a catchy melody and simple adornment. Let It Go, the final track on the release, takes a more serious country waltz approach with traditional vocal duet by the Kennedys. "By the book" steel guitar and fiddle with bottom on organ by McCullough makes this another of the strongest tracks on the release. Although not much here for traditional "blues only" listeners, this is a strong release and one that should find broad appeal. Very nice!

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