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The Kennedys

Songs of the Open Road – 2006 (Appleseed)

Reviewed by George Hauenstein

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Husband and wife duo, Pete & Maura Kennedy have been touring and recording nationally for a number of years. Pete is a talented, multi-insturmentalist with a long list of studio credits, including work with Nanci Griffith. Maura Kennedy does most of the vocals, She has one of the loveliest voices in any genre of music.

Their latest is a collection of their favorites, some well-known, some relatively obscure. It's their first album that doesn't include any originals. It's like someone asked them ‘if you were stuck on a desert island, what songs would you want to take with you.'

The Kennedy's offer great treatments of Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" and Gram Parson's "Sin City," but the best tune here is their version of Bob Neuwirth's "Eyes On the Road." They also revive Jimmy Webb classic, "Galveston," and though the arrangement is not much different than Glen Campbell's version, Maura Kennedy makes it sound fresh and enjoyable again after all these years. The duo also do great justice to songs from Griffith, John Stewart, Victoria Williams and others.

Concept albums like this work sometimes, and sometimes they don't. This one most certainly works, and it's hard to put down. A definite winner.