DAN KENNEDY – Seems Like Forever

CD Reviews 02 Apr 2013

dan kennedy seems cd coverDAN KENNEDY – Seems Like Forever

(2013  Slothtrop)

 Buy this CD here

CD Release Party is Wednesday, April 3 at the Fountain

Dan Kennedy’s label, the locally-based Slothtrop Records, refers to him as the “quintessential sideman.” It’s an apt description as Kennedy has unassumingly appeared in various local groups (Mark Croft, Sean Michael Dargan, the Getaway Drivers, and most recently in a duo formation with singer/songwriter Amy Curl to name just a few) but also on bigger stages with the likes of America and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Kennedy has always maintained a professional demeanor, bringing class and taste to his guitar contributions but you won’t see him showboating or shouting from the rafters. Lesser known are his talents as a singer. Kennedy possesses a fine voice, never forceful, but tinged in shades of blues, R&B, soul and jazz.

Seems Like Forever is Kennedy’s second solo outing and includes the oft-covered “How Glad I Am,” the most famous version being Nancy Wilson’s, which was a hit single in the summer of 1964, receiving a Grammy for best R&B recording. It’s a big indication of where this album lies in the stylistic continuum. The track really shows off Kennedy’s vocal abilities while the similarly ubiquitous Jaye Barbeau croons away on the organ.  While Kennedy’s first album was a true solo effort (in that he played all the instruments) this time he’s assembled a crack band band which also includes the incomparable Bob Boyd on drums and jazz bassist Matt Rogers.

The album’s title comes from the lyric of the leadoff track, “Fool’s Game,” another crooner steeped in R&B. Here is one of the few instances on the record where Kennedy takes an extended guitar solo, preferring elsewhere to support the vocal lines with his tasteful adornments. Bonnie Raitt would surely be interested in “Last Dime,” a tune that sounds tailor-made for her vocally as well as being a vehicle for slide guitar. “Watch Your Back” ventures the furthest into jazz while “Mary Don’t You Cry” is a bona fide stomp-and-clap spiritual. The album’s closer, “One-Note Stand” uses clever wordplay to lament like’s unfulfillments and the passing of time. All jazz chords, brushes and bass, this is the album’s most atmospheric track.

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About the author

Rick Tvedt

Rick is publisher of Local Sounds Magazine, formerly Rick's Cafe, Wisconsin's Regional Music Newspaper. He is also the Executive Director for MAMA, Inc., a non-profit organization that produces the Madison Area Music Awards and raises funds to promote youth music programs.

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