With seven albums and years of touring already under his belt, respected Texas singer-songwriter Drew Kennedy is hardly new to the music scene. On November 3rd he releases At Home In The Big Lonesome. Produced by Dave Brainard (Brandy Clark, Jamey Johnson), the eleven track collection combines Kennedy’s well honed writing skills and soulful vocals with piano and strings alongside the more traditional acoustic instrumentation on his previous albums. The departure works well and serves as a perfect sonic backdrop for the evocative nature of the songs.
The tender, piano ballad ,“When I’ll Miss You Most” draws the listener in immediately with its reflections on the death of a lover, “With a steaming cup of coffee, and the paper by my side/ I can’t bring myself to read it ‘cause I know your life’s inside”, and the knowledge that memories of her will remain intact as he navigates the future without her. “Sing This Town To Sleep” and “Jackson” are sweetly nostalgic with the former celebrating the joy of sharing the small town life with the one you love while the latter recalls memories of a past relationship, “We sang along with The Jackson Five/Made love to Jackson Browne.”
Co-written by Kennedy and Sean McConnell, “24 Hours In New York City” takes the listener along on a young, teenaged couple’s impulsive roadtrip complete with vivid descriptions of the sights and sounds. “Cream And Sugar” brings you along on the excitement a blind date in a coffee shop as you follow the inner monologue of the guy trying to quell his nerves and minimize expectations.
The simple sounds of acoustic guitar and harmonica drive “Miles To Go” which uses roadtrip necessities as a guide for living a good life, “Keep a map in the glovebox and cut a path to the sweet unknown” while “House” conveys advice in more of a “how not to” guide for a crumbling relationship, “Not saying what needs saying is a sure fire way to let that fire die/And going through the motions is only good if you don’t wanna try/ I ain’t no architect but I know without a doubt, how to turn a home into a house.”
At Home In The Big Lonesome closes with a beautifully done cover of Walt Wilkins’ “Walnut Street” which serves as a reminder that no matter whose name is on the deed, a house is a vessel containing the memories of all who lived there. It’s a fitting way to close an album of songs about memories; some likely personal and others possibly conjured of out empathy and understanding of the human condition.
To find out more about the artist, his music and touring schedule, visit his website at www.drewkennedymusic.com.