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Kieran Kane, Kevin Welch and Fats Kaplin

Lost John Dean – 2006 (Dead Reckoning)

Reviewed by Jason MacNeil

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CDs by Kieran Kane, Kevin Welch and Fats Kaplin

Following up on the success of 2004's "You Can't Save Everbody," two of the finer singer-songwriters around once again team up with a seasoned multi-instrumentalist. And while the songs are just as strong as the first go around, this album from Kieran Kane, Kevin Welch and Fats Kaplin seems to have a distinct "live" feeling. From the opening notes of "Monkey Jump" and the gorgeous toe-tapping title track, Kane and Welch run through the 11 tracks with a healthy mix of blues/folk/roots/boogie/country and more blues.

Kaplin provides some great backdrops, but it often comes down to the moody, memorable grooves, which both songwriters bring to the table, particularly Welch's slow, but stellar "Satan's Paradise" and the bittersweet ballad "Heaven Now." Meanwhile, Kane's nuggets include the give-and-take duet on the quirky, but effective "Postcard From Mexico."

"I Can't Wait" has them sounding like an early Everly Brothers circa "Songs Our Daddy Taught Us." The only time where things don't gel immediately is "Clean Getaway." Fortunately the closing one-two punch of the bluegrass, Appalachian-tinged "Them Wheels Don't Roll" gives way to the album's highlight "Mellow Down Easy." It's a good thing iPods don't have needles. Otherwise this gem of an album would be worn out quite quickly!