Nuala Kennedy's biography says it all: She is a woman that simply loves music. Having a background that is rich in music is something that Kennedy has been able to turn from a passion into a profession. While there are many people in this world that have a simple affection for music, Kennedy seems to instead be infected by music. Whether it is her love of music pushing her to teach music to others, or her ability to compose beautiful works, or her ability to simply sing and play music at venues as small as a local session to a larger stage at a concert, Kennedy's appreciation for music allows her listeners to appreciate the music of Kennedy. It is truly a remarkable and symbiotic relationship.
Kennedy's background includes being a member of two well established groups, Fine Friday and The Unusual Suspects . While these groups have allowed Kennedy to be able to perfect simply another musical avenue, Kenned in 2007 determined that it was time to produce an album of her own. Produced by Bob Kenyan, Kennedy's album The New Shoes is a remarkably successful and well crafted album from start to finish.
The album wastes no time welcoming the listener into the music of Nuala Kennedy. From the very first track the listener can see that the creation of good music is not something Kennedy takes lightly, rather, the music appears to be something fundamentally essential to Kennedy. With the precision and accuracy paid to music that a surgeon uses on his or her patient, Kennedy has crafted a remarkable album that is rich with unique flairs and a truly individual touch.
An impressive jig starts off the album right. The Pink Flamingo is a beautifully compiled jig that dances the listener right into the album. The emphasis that Kennedy places on not simply forming good music, but rather, great music, is instantly heard. This track is a great introduction into the rest of the album and the listener becomes keenly intent on desiring for some more of Kennedy's music.
The beauty of the Gaelic language is confirmed on Kennedy's second track, Cait i nGarrain a Bhile . This track focuses mainly on the smoothly and angelic vocals of Kennedy. The vocals take on an instrumental role of their own and the instrumentation takes a back seat to the well tuned vocals of Kennedy. This track exemplifies the brilliance of Kennedy's musical capabilities.
The Groves of Donaghmore is the first track on the album that offers both a steady filling of both vocals and musical instrumentation on the track. This track shows for the first time that the vocals of Kennedy are not lost when paired with musical accompaniment that is meant to be matched to such impressive vocals. It is no small task to find instrumentation that would match nicely to the powerful vocals of Kennedy, however, this track features the accomplishment in a perfect way.
Another impressive track is A Bhean Ud Thios . Another traditional Gaelic tune, Kennedy again slows down the tempo of the music and the vocals again take center stage on the track. The vocals encompass an almost rolling wave feel that washes the listener through the entire track. While instrumental music is often thought of as being soothing and calming, the voice of Kennedy has a way to entering the mind through the ears in a way that most vocalists simply cannot perfect. The track is a lovely perfection of what music in its purest form is meant to be.
1. The Pink Flamingo
2. Cait i nGarrain a Bhile
3. Hop Jigs
4. Dolphin School
5. The Groves of Donaghmore
6. Over to Brittany
7. Erin on the Rhine
9. Highlands and Islands
10. A Bhean Ud Thios
11. The New Shoes
After having read the biography of Nuala Kennedy, it became perfectly clear that this is a woman that not only loves music, but cares about it, as well. There are plenty of musicians who are perfectly capable of creating good music, however, when a musician comes along and creates music that can make the listener not only appreciate the music of the artist but gain a better appreciation for music in general, that musician is worthy of listening to. Nuala Kennedy is one of those musicians. Her album The New Shoes allows music listeners a glimpse into what it means to be able to craft music that is of the highest quality. And for that, Nuala Kennedy is deserving of having this album find its way into your stereo.
The New Shoes is on the Compass Records label and was produced by Bob Kenyan.
For more information about Nuala Kennedy, check out her website at [...]