Kerry Kearney review…September 24, 2018…..

KERRY KEARNEY

BLACK TEA REVISED

SHAKIN’ LIKE JELLY–LONG TALL MAMA–PRETTY BABY–GOIN’ TO THE MARDI GRAS–STATESBORO BLUES–CREOLE WOMAN–WAKE ME, SHAKE ME, BAKE ME–GIRL FROM MEMPHIS

Guitarist Kerry Kearney (pronounce it CAR-nee) hails from the Long Island area, having won several awards from the LI Blues Society, as well as having been inducted into the prestigious New York Blues Hall Of Fame.  A masterful guitarist and killer slide man, his unique style of blues has been described as “psychedelta,” given his penchant for deftly combining the sounds of the pre-WWII masters with his own blues-rock interpretations.  He has graciously offered us two CD’s for review, and we begin with “Black Tea–Revised,” which features seven outstanding originals and one ultra-cool cover.  With Mario Staiiano on drums, Gerry Sorrentino on bass, and David Cohen on keys, this set covers a wealth of musical territory over its eight cuts.

Leading off is the pounding shuffle of “Shakin’ Like Jelly–I’m your peanut butter, baby!,” setting the definition of “psychedelta,” as well as the tone for the rest of the album.  “Long Tall Mama” is sho’ nuff a cool swig of Sun-drenched rockabilly, as is the set-closing “Girl From Memphis,” with some sweet dobro, and harp from Charlie Wolfe.

Our two favorites further showed Kerry’s amazing uniqueness within individual songs.  A perfect example is his version of Blind Willie’s “Statesboro Blues.”  Most of us know either the Allman Brothers version or the original, but Kerry’s is neither.  This one plays out as a vibrant, New Orleans-styled party anthem, complete with Charlie’s harp, David’s piano, and cool trombone from Victor Poretz!  You can echo those same sentiments on “Wake Me, Shake Me, Bake Me,” this one with Kerry on scalded-dog electric guitar, and David’s piano groove reminiscent of the ABB’s “Southbound.”

There is another excellent set from Kerry Kearney entitled “Got Slide Guitar?”, which will be our featured review on the morrow.  Just as “Black Tea–Revised,” it is a guitar-lover’s dream!  Until next time….Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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