Rather than compiling a mix tape for the road, Pete and Maura Kennedy went one better. For the husband-and-wife duo's first covers album, they put their signature stamp on 14 of their favorite songs for the van. Since the Byrds have always provided a touchstone for the Kennedys' blend of hooks, harmonies, and guitar jangle, it's no surprise that their transcendent version of "Eight Miles High" highlights this collection, along with dips into the songbooks of Byrds alumni Gene Clark ("Gypsy Rider") and the Flying Burrito Brothers ("Sin City"). In addition to the folk-rock of the '60s, the Kennedys show a penchant for '70s troubadours such as John Stewart ("Jasmine") and Bob Neuwirth ("Eye on the Road"). Yet the album's wild-card eclecticism also includes a transformation of Stephen Stills's "Pretty Girl Why" into a Brazilian samba, while material that ranges from Nick Lowe's "Raging Eyes" to Jimmy Webb's "Galveston" to Mahalia Jackson's "I'm on My Way" shows that musical inspiration knows no categorical bounds. The album ends as it must, with a Nanci Griffith song ("Late Night Grande Hotel"), for it was in Griffith's band where vocalist Maura and guitar virtuoso Pete came together and decided to go out on their own. --Don McLeese
This latest by the popular folk duo is all covers and includes some of their most requested songs. Featured are exciting reinventions of classics by the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Bob Dylan, Nick Lowe, Jimmy W ebb, Stephen Stills, Nancy Griffith and other great performers. The last CD by the Kennedys (who also host their own Sirius radio show) was the # 5 most played CD on WFUV-NYC and got a lot of airplay. This CD is even more airplay friendly!