Tuesday, November 02, 2004

The Big Picture By Bap Kennedy.

Before buying this album all i knew about Bap Kennedy was that he was in a band called Energy Orchard several years ago who had recorded an excellent version of Van Morrisons Madame George.I also knew he was the brother of Brian Kennedy.The reason i bought the album was that i had the great pleasure 18 years ago of meeting Carolyn Cassady and i often wondered what she was doing these days and lo and behold,up she pops on Baps album.The opening track ROCK AND ROLL HEAVEN begins with a few seconds of Brian Wilsonesque harmonising and then goes into a driving country rock beat with Bap name dropping nearly every dead singer that ever existed.Its a great song.THE TRUTH IS PAINFUL is a slower introspective song with some nice whistle playing by Kieron Kelly and guitar by Paul Toner.MORIARTY'S BLUES is what i came here for.Its a nice slow jazzy song.Moriarty as you know is Dean Moriarty the hero of Kerouac's On The Road and in real life Neal Cassady.His wife Carolyn reads a short extract from her book Off The Road and very nice it is too hearing her voice again.What a great lady she is.
STREETWISE displays Baps dark dry humour with such lines as,'Blessed are the poor,well thats alright then'.TOO OLD FOR FAIRY TALES opens with a real country guitar sound.Its a very sad song musing on the struggle for fortune and fame and is it worth it?MILKY WAY is co-written with veteran fellow Belfast troubadour Van Morrison and an excellent song it is too.A Milky Way is a popular chocolate bar in England and this is a song you can hear between meals without ruining your appetite! There is a lovely Irish folky instrumental break in the middle of this song.LOVERMAN is a nice laid back song with some dreamy backing vocals by Alison Limerick amongst others. FIREWORKS is much more upbeat with a kind of a West Indian feel to it and some nice accordian and guitar,very nice for a summers evening.ON THE MIGHTY OCEAN ALCOHOL features the legend that is Shane Macgowan,Shanes contribution is small but he sounds great,his voice almost Tom Waits in its growliness! THE SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS has more witty lines from Bap such as,'If money could talk it would say goodbye'.The album ends with a haunting wistful sad song that only the Irish can write.THE BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY.
'And now i'm so far away,
and i'm full of wine,
i tell them theres no country
as beautiful as mine'.
On the liner notes i see that a lot of the album was recorded at Wool Hall Studio's which is only 4 miles away from where i am writing this review right now.Bap also thanks Van without whom the album wouldn't exist.That shows what a nice person Van is under his gruff exterior.This album is highly recommended.