Kerry Kearney review…April 8, 2018….

KERRY KEARNEY

SMOKEHOUSE SERENADE

HIGHLANDER RECORDS  2019 DWAZ ENTERTAINMENT

SHAKIN LIKE JELLY–LONG TALL MAMA–STATESBORO BLUES–FIREPLUG–NO WAY BACK BLUES–WAKE ME, SHAKE ME, BAKE ME–SITTIN ON TOP OF THE WORLD–CAMPTOWN RACES/SMOKEHOUSE SERENADE–GIRL FROM MEMPHIS–CREOLE WOMAN–GOIN TO THE MARDI GRAS–PRETTY BABY

Kerry Kearney has long been a favorite of ours in the pantheon of contemporary blues guitarists, and a new album from him is always a cause celebre’ here in the Crow household.  Such is the case with his latest, “Smokehouse Serenade,” for Highlander Records.  It is an even dozen of clever originals and some ultra-cool and somewhat rare covers.  The whole shootin’ match was recorded at Dream Studios in Bellmore, NY, with the whole of the Kerry Kearney Band producing.

The party starts with the raucous, rafter-raising “Shakin’ Like Jelly, I’m your peanut butter boy.” featuring harp from Frank “Kingbee” Latorre.  Herein, we are treated to one dazzling solo after another!  “No Way Back Blues” finds Kerry on acoustic guitar, telling a lover, “I ain’t gonna see you no more, down that lonesome road I go,” evoking memories of Robert Johnson looking for Willie Brown! One of our favorites, “Creole Woman”–that “mocha drunkard’s dream”–is the epitome’ of what Kerry is all about, and a great definition of his “psyche-Delta” approach to the blues!  This one has him all over the electric guitar, with solid support from keys man David Cohen.  Our other favorite was perhaps the set’s most unique cut.  On the instrumental, “Camptown Races/Smokehouse Serenade,” Kerry begins with the Stephen Foster chestnut by playing it on banjo before giving way to the electric guitar to close out the rest of this six-plus minutes of pure blues Heaven!

When one listens to Kerry Kearney, whether he’s burnin’ up the electric fretboards or pickin’ out a sweet, ‘down on Beale” acoustic number, it is easy to see why he is a member of the New York Blues Hall of Fame.  You get a good taste of all his myriad of talents with the most excellent “Smokehouse Serenade!”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

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