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Kieran Kane and Kevin Welch

11/12/13 – 2000 (Dead Reckoning)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by Kieran Kane and Kevin Welch

Recorded on November 12th and 13th, 1999 (thus the title), this live acoustic set is reminiscent of the VH1 Storytellers performance by Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson-two singer/songwriters with their guitars trading off songs.

Welch opens it up with "Something 'Bout You," a tale of a self-proclaimed loner whose facade is cracked by a woman with whom he becomes obsessed but fearful to approach. Welch also provides a bluesy rendition of "Life Down Here On Earth," his lamentation on the current state of mankind, and "Some Kind Of Paradise," telling of a restless soul from birth ("his daddy said when he was a baby he was impossible to hold") whose elusive search for contentment begins and ends too soon.

Kane tackles the theme of lost love in "Four Questions" and "If I Could Be There" and reflects on the drawbacks of small town existence in "Town This Size." In "Table Top Dancer" Kane sensitively examines the life of an exotic dancer.

While sticking primarily with their own songs each chooses one cover tune as Welch does John Hiatt's "Train To Birmingham," and Kane exposes his more traditional roots with Hank Williams' "Ramblin' Man." The highlight is the closing tune "When We're Gone, Long Gone," Kane's gospel tinged collaboration with former O'Kanes partner Jamie O'Hara, which celebrates love over other worldly concerns ("the only thing that will have mattered is the love that we shared/ And the way that we cared").

Though a bit more chatter between Kane and Welch might have enhanced the enjoyment of this set, "11/12/13" showcases two of today's premier singer/songwriters at their best.