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Kieran Kane

The Blue Chair – 2000 (Dead Reckoning)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by Kieran Kane

In the late '80's, Kieran Kane was amongst the elite of the New Traditionalist movement with The O'Kanes. With the release of his fourth solo effort, Kane continues to create some of the best music on the current alt.-country scene.

Kane kicks it off with "Honeymoon Wine," a sentimental ballad tellling the story of a struggling couple who find strength in remembering better days. Kane also revisits his songwriting success "I'll Go On Loving You," a mainstream hit for Alan Jackson, in which the singer speaks of a love that transcends "pleasures of the flesh." "Four Questions" appears at first to be a quest for spiritual enlightenment as Kane turns to the Bible and looks to the sky for answers, until the chorus reveals the singer's more earthly concerns ("Who is she with/What is she doing/Where is she now/Why did she go"). Other songs of lost love are "I'm Sorry," in which Kane pleads for a second chance, and "Rosie's Gone" (co-written with ex O'Kanes mate Jamie O'Hara), the tale of a woman who shuts out the world after losing the man she loves to war.

As on his previous albums, Kane features a pair of covers with Jesse Winchester's "Love Is Fair" and Van Morrison's "Irish Heartbeat." Kane also displays his bilingual skills with the French language compostions "Tues Avec Moi" and "Nous Sommes Les Memes." Kane is backed by John Jarvis (piano), Glenn Worf (bass), Harry Stinson (drums), and Dan Dugmore (guitars). Also on hand are Allison Moorer and Kevin Welch with backup vocals on "Same Old Blues," which they co-wrote with Kane.

Though unlikely to bring Kane the commercial success he enjoyed with The O'Kanes, this release reinforces Kane's reputation as one of today's best alt.-country singer-songwriters.