Saturday, October 6, 2001
HE most impressive thing is that they totally enjoy what they do. Next time you go to a Kennedys concert, watch them, and REALLY watch them. They look like they would be standing on the stage singing the same songs even if every single person in the club were to get up and leave. Like, they couldn't imagine being anywhere else, or doing anything other than singing and playing. We, as the audience, sit and watch them, and we can't imagine seeing or doing anything else either. We sit with our mouths hanging open, jaws touching the ground. Our eyes never avert from the magic of Maura and Pete's voice blending together to create a new, third, voice. Our brain struggles to comprehend the awe that we feel for their amazing guitar playing. We don't know whether to clap, smile, cry, or tilt our heads in amazment... so we do it all at once. We also stare in wonder at their funky outfits, and try to decide how much we'd have to pay them for their wardrobe.
ete and Maura Kennedy, both seasoned veterans of club and concert gigs, first met at the Continental Club, a roots rock mecca on the South side of Austin, Texas. After joining together, they spent two months touring Europe as the opening act for Nanci Griffith and developing a repertoire of their own compositions. They've since paid their dues as a hard-touring road act and have developed a respectable cult following.
ete and Maura Kennedy bring it all together with their 2001 CD release, Positively Live!. The husband and wife songwriting and production team have been championing melodic, guitar based folk/pop since 1995, when their first release, River of Fallen Stars, won the NAIRD Indie award for Best Adult Contemporary release. Since then they've explored, on CD, their own territory the three-minute folk-rock song. Life is Large was a sunburst of 12-strings and harmonies, Angel Fire was a reflective, acoustic effort. Evolver pushed their own production envelope to the limit, incorporating psychedelic and electronic sounds into the folk/pop mix. All the while, they were building a solid national following through constant touring, and their live show took on a life of it's own two acoustic guitars, two voices, and extended jams that busted through the boundaries of the three minute pop song. Much more emphasis on the guitars, much more room for Maura's voice to stretch out, and more space for their wide ranging, offbeat eclecticism to freely flow.
ositively Live! is the first Kennedys CD that captures their live show. It crackles with energy and humor, it showcases Maura's voice in the excitement of a live setting, and it documents, the groove oriented modal guitar jams that make this duo unique in the world of singer-songwriters. The fourteen-song set includes seven numbers never released on a Kennedys CD. These include the rootsy Distant Thunder, Rappahannock, Run Red Lights, as well as Robert Johnson's Come In My Kitchen and an incendiary Orange Blossom Special. The other selections include Kennedy favorites such as Life Is Large and River of Fallen Stars, presented here in their onstage versions with extended guitar jams. Positively Live! showcases The Kennedys for the first time with the energy and spontaneity that make their live show something unique and special. Not available in stores, this CD will be available at the concert.