This newest release by the founder of Dead Reckoning Records, and a founding member of The O'Kanes only clocks in at 34:11 and you damn sure wish it were double that because of its stunning musical adventurousness. The personnel of the band will give you some clues about where this Americana artist is heading on this disc; Kieran Kane: vocals / banjo, Deanna Varagona: baritone sax / vocals, Richard Bennett: electric guitar, Lucas Kane: drums. They are joined on a song apiece by Fats Kaplan on steel guitar and David Olney on vocals. Ten of the eleven songs are either written or co-written by Kieran Kane and they are direct and show the broad scope of his musical background.
To say the music is pulsating or driving relentlessly forward would be an understatement. Give a listen to Don't Try To Fight It. It is being propelled uncompromisingly toward the musical showdown by the persistent rhythm of the music, and, as the song says, don't try to fight it. This man is doing things with the banjo, using it in new ways that are breaking new ground; reminiscent of the way Otis Taylor (Recapturing the Banjo [reviewed here], Definition of A Circle [reviewed here]) is exploring new uses of the banjo by going back to its African roots. If you automatically think bluegrass and country when you see the banjo listed as an instrument you had better rearrange/expand your thinking because these men are seriously broadening its use. Whoever dreamed up paring up banjo and baritone sax?…supported by electric guitar and drums? This is a disc that has long rewards for those who want to expand their musical horizons and grow into new areas. Hats off to Kieran Kane, and all others, who are will to take the risks that have such huge rewards.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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