Musicians, songwriters and old friends: when Kieran Kane and Kevin Welch sit down together, the room is instantly engulfed in a softy glowing bonhomie. Not a raging, giddy friendship something more insidious, a bit sinister. Deeper. Its a glow stoked by fast-flying sarcasm and the musical way Kieran and Kevin seamlessly complete one anothers sentences. Lost John Dean finds these industry mavericks picking up where You Cant Save Everybody left off -- featuring an entire album of roots music gems from the pens of the original Godfathers of Americana. Joined once again by multi-instrumentalist Fats Kaplin who flavors the gumbo with just the right spices.
In the mid 1980s, Kieran Kane made his name as half of the O'Kanes, an acoustic duo that achieved surprising mainstream success with acoustic music that was contemporary yet possessed undeniable echoes of the past--music that grows in stature as time passes. After their split, Kane continued his solo work, most notably in a partnership with songwriter Kevin Welch, fiddler Tammy Rogers, and a number of others in Dead Reckoning Records, an ensemble of complementary voices and talents with similarly traditional ties. This collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Fats Kaplin, a sequel to their 2004 release You Can't Save Everybody
, features 11 numbers: nine originals, one traditional tune, and a blues cover. The vocals are loose and relaxed, the less-is-more acoustic accompaniment enhanced throughout by Kaplan's instrumental virtuosity. An eerie, gothic feel permeates both Welch's "Satan's Paradise" and the traditional title song. "Postcard from Mexico" has a raw, swampy ambience. This marvelous organic unity continues to the end with a rousing acoustic revival of the Little Walter blues standard "Mellow Down Easy." It's no surprise that the album's refreshingly devoid of the arty, self-important pretense that dogs many less experienced Americana singer-songwriters. These guys were doing it before "Americana" existed. --Rich Kienzle