Bap Kennedy is one of those gifted singer-songwriters seemingly able to morph their talent at will drifting into and across a range of genres, both for their own solo work and in conjunction with other artists. His latest album ‘Let’s Start Again’ (the 6th offering of his solo material) slides his singular ability away from familiar Celtic directions and closer to Americana folk – and the result is an exceptionally listenable album. ‘Let’s Start Again’ exerts a compelling, soothing melodic lure made all the more gripping by sharply formed lyrics.
There’s a laid-back relaxed feel coming through the richly, layered melodies engendered no doubt through the talented list of performers joining Bap on the album. The weave they lay behind his vocals and lyrics is nothing short of awe-inspiring. The team includes Brenda Boyd Kennedy (electric bass) Gordy McAllister (acoustic lead, electric lead and slide guitar) John McCullough (keyboards, accordion) John Fitzpatrick (fiddle) Noel Lenaghan (mandolin) Rabb Bennett (drums) Richard Nelson (pedal steel, dobro) Trevor Dyer (stand-up and stick bass) and Vinty Gilbert (banjo).
Opening with the reflective, lyrically tough title track ‘Let’s Start Again’ takes a long hard look at reality and fighting in the face of time. There’s a gear-shift into the ‘rootsy’ pulse of ‘Revelation Blues’ and ‘If Things Don’t Change’ before a distinct Latin twist hits out through the groove of ‘King of Mexico’. The lazily, somnolent ‘Radio Waves’ continues the lyrical richness “I’ve fallen in love but I think I’m over the worst. Music can save you but it might try to kill you first.” And then there’s excruciating self-examination of ‘Strange Kid’ while the definitive observation in ‘Let it Go’ speaks volumes.
‘Let’s Start Again’ is another album for your collection - without doubt .
Reviewer: Dan Holland
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