The Birds Upon The Trees
reviewed by Josh Curll
Let me tell you about my first listening of Kennedy’s Kitchens new release, The Birds Upon the Trees. I went through their website first to find some info on them, and it’s a band of family and friends that meet together, often, in joHn Kennedy’s, you guessed it, kitchen and jam traditional Irish music. Sounds like my kind of band. My first listening, I heard tin whistles and flutes, often. Hrmm, I thought.
Okay, here’s the honest truth. I am not the tin whistle’s biggest fan, nor it’s detractor. If I listen to a record that focus’s on that instrument and I like it, then it says something about the player, or in this album’s case, players, and that’s why artists record. To capture musicians playing at their top skills, and if luck has it, capture lightning in a bottle, and share it with anyone who will listen. I haven’t listened to their previous work, but listening to this album is like watching a trad band in a pub, and I was on the bus when I first listened to them. I dare you to think of a better day then going to a pub, drinking a pint of dark, having a great meal, with good company, and having a phenomenal group of musicians playing traditional songs off to the right (all the while slipping in a few of their own, the sly devils). I may be getting old, but I can’t think of a better way to spend the evening. That’s what this band evokes when listening to them.
You might have noticed I’m not mentioning too many specific songs, and yet I am recommending this album, highly. Why am I not giving shout outs to certain songs? Because this is not that kind of album. This is a full on, trad album. Who cares what the songs names are. Well, there is one that comes to my attention. Patrick Coyle. It’s about joHn’s (not a misspelling or a caps lock error) grandfather. A tribute to a rebel of Ireland. I admit I have a soft spot for rebels (especially fenians), so it deserves a listen, if just to help us remember what some people had to go through, even if it’s just a few of us that do listen.
The band as a whole, works perfectly together. They accompany each other well, and yet all get a moment to shine (except the bass player). A shout out to the bass player by the way. It’s easy to praise the fiddle, the bodhran, and the guitar (I play that instrument, so I’m biased) but the bass player in this band plays to what is best for the song, and not what shows off his skills, which is a skill in and of itself. 4 stars out of 5… Hmmm. Next review, maybe, I’ll have my own rating system.
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