Lost John Dean

Lost John Dean

by Kieran Kane
     
 
A little bit blues (including a house-wrecking cover of Willie Dixon's "Mellow Down Easy"), a little bit country, a little bit folk, and a whole lotta good music is the end result of the second teaming of the Okie Kevin Welch and native New Yorkers Kieran Kane and Fats Kaplin. Kane and Welch, who are involved in the writing of all but two of the tunes here, sing and

Overview

A little bit blues (including a house-wrecking cover of Willie Dixon's "Mellow Down Easy"), a little bit country, a little bit folk, and a whole lotta good music is the end result of the second teaming of the Okie Kevin Welch and native New Yorkers Kieran Kane and Fats Kaplin. Kane and Welch, who are involved in the writing of all but two of the tunes here, sing and play with an authority born of feeling the roots of their music way down deep. What comes through in their impeccable picking and warmhearted vocalizing is soulful to the nth degree and life affirming to the hilt -- they're not just enjoying themselves; they're luxuriating. Check out Kane's engaging baritone on the traditional title tune and how well his righteous rumble plays in front of some of the most spirited instrumental interplay this side of the Del McCoury Band. On a meditative note, the dark hues and luscious noir-like ambiance of the beautiful "Heaven Now" frame a stirring reflection on life winding down, the musical atmosphere thick with chiming tones from Kaplin's electric guitar and a thick, swirling, slightly ominous soundscape built on meshed stringed instrumental work. The album's deepest tune, "I Can't Wait," is a lilting gospel number with an exquisite melody, beautiful harmonizing on the chorus, and a heart-tugging arrangement keyed by Kaplin's evocative wash of accordion chords. The sum of these parts -- Kane, Welch, Kaplin, their knowing dialogues, and their focus on getting to the heart -- equals a magnificent, timeless whole.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Hal Horowitz
Kieran Kane along with longtime musical associate Kevin Welch and Fats Kaplin join for their second album as a trio. Although it shares the same basic instrumentation and stripped down, one take, folk approach of 2004's You Can't Save Everybody, the follow-up is more full, layered, and seems ever so slightly beefed up. Multi-instrumentalist Kaplin (guitar, pedal steel, oud, accordion, fiddle) is better integrated and helps fill out the sound that is still primarily acoustic, but has flashes of subtle electric guitar fills. The songs are largely ballads concerning the usual suspect topics of lost love ("Clean Getaway"), cars as a metaphor for life ("Them Wheels Don't Roll Anymore") and spiritual concerns ("I Can't Wait"), yet the melodies and singing are so consistently engaging that the project takes on a life of its own. A few more upbeat tunes such as the closing cover of Willie Dixon's "Mellow Down Easy" (a far cry from Little Walter's boogie thumping original) would help keep the energy flowing, but there is no shortage of talent and enthusiasm here. Kane and Welch's vocals, both solo and in tandem, find a melancholy groove that is hypnotic, beautiful and sincere. Welch's reflective "Heaven Now," a sad and insightful meditation on ageing, is stunning in its simplicity and naked emotion. "To the Harvest Look Ahead" takes a simple circular melody, brings a swampy, dusky mood and connects with restrained intensity. Middle Eastern chords infuse the mysterious "Mr. Bones" with Kaplin's oud driving the world beat influences. The recording is clean, clear and crisp, with each instrument defined under the vocals making a good album even better. Highly recommended especially for folk/Americana fans.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/09/2006
Label:
Compass Records
UPC:
0766397442921
catalogNumber:
4429

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kieran Kane   Primary Artist,Banjo,Drums,Tambourine,Vocals,Octave Mandola
Kevin Welch   Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Fats Kaplin   Fiddle,Pedal Steel Guitar,Accordion,Electric Guitar,Oud,Button Accordion

Technical Credits

Willie Dixon   Composer
Kevin Welch   Arranger
David Olney   Composer
Kieran Kane   Arranger,Composer,Paintings,Drum Sounds
John Hadley   Composer
Sean Locke   Composer
Dave Olney   Composer
Fats Kaplin   Arranger
Philip Scoggins   Engineer
Traditional   Composer
Charles Yingling   Engineer
Dustin Welch   Composer
Chris Stapleton   Composer
Claudia Scott   Composer

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