Captain Kennedy
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Captain Kennedy

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Band Americana Rock

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Press


Captain Kennedy have just issued their new Sweetest Friend EP, and it's very good indeed. Four tracks of sweet, slightly countrified, melodic goodness played on acoustic guitar, bass and drums with some deft electric solos and a touch of piano and harmonica thrown in for good measure.

Singer Ciaran Lavery has a great voice that's just husky and cracked enough to sound lived in, while still tuneful enough to do these songs justice - part Richard Ashcroft, part Paul Westerberg and all good.

Opener "Sweetest Friend" walks a fine line between pop balladry and indie soul and would be playing on daytime radio stations right now if there was any justice in the world. Similarily, "Hard Time Wakin" is a catchy strummer that hammers its hook home relentlessly. It breaks down nicely in the middle, leading off into another solo and another chorus just in case you were thinking of forgetting what the words were.

Take Care of Me is a proper countrified ballad with a slow easy tempo and brushed drums. A little bluesy guitar cuts through occasionally, just to keep things lively.

The final cut, "Mississippi", boasts a Replacements style melody and some mean harmonica action, even if the lyrical content is a little on the cliched side. Still, if they handed out tickets for people writing songs about American towns they've probably never even been to, the courts would be overwhelmed and The Thrills would be in jail.

Anyway, you can hear all four songs on the band's Myspace page at http://www.myspace.com/captainkennedy - Irish News


Next to the stage are Captain Kennedy. If there's one thing that they have in common with Angel Fall it must be that their influences are translucent. While it's clear bands such as Evanescence and System of a Down have influenced the direction of Angel Fall, for the Kennedy's it's Dylan, The Band, Neil Young, Proud Mary and Cream that have steered the direction and output from this Co. Armagh five piece.

It's all here, but that's no bad thing, especially when it's crafted together so masterfully to produce songs such as 'Sweetest Friend' and 'Hard Time Wakin'' which you'd swear you'd heard somewhere before.

Breaking out the harmonica on a song entitled 'Mississippi', vocalist Ciaran Lavery sings songs about small towns in the deep-south of America. While it may be a little hard for a Belfast crowd to relate to the subject material when you've got the Americana sound as polished as these guys do, it's no surprise it goes down as well as a Mississippi Mud Pie!
- BBC Across the Line


“Sweet, simple, Dylan-influenced songs about drinking and the minutiae of life” - Alternative Ulster


Northern Ireland based Captain Kennedy play semi-acoustic, folk rock country influenced blues that have been described as having a “head heart body and mind”. Or so the press release says. And I agree. Despite only having four tracks this EP, is an indicator of what this band are capable of.

The opener ‘Sweetest Friend’ sets the tone for the following tracks. I was so impressed with ‘Sweetest Friend’ that I played it on my radio programme this morning before I’d got round to reviewing the EP for this site.

‘Hard Time’ and ‘Mississippi’ (with its great opening bass line) puts “one foot into murky Southern roots” according to their website, but I’m not so sure. Maybe one of the titles conjures up Southern leanings and there are inflections in their influences but that’s probably as far as it goes. That’s not to say the tracks aren’t any good, because they are. But to claim they’re “Southern” indicates that they’re more Tony Joe White and Sonny Landreth than The Band or The Old Crow Medicine Show, which is probably more like it.

Their strengths come from delivering melodic songs within the Americana genre, and I’m a sucker for hummable songs. And these tracks provide more catchy melodies than you know what to do with.

An excellent taster of more to come.

- Americana UK


“If you’re into anthemic, bluesy rock then you’ll be hard pressed to find much better than this.” - Sounds XP


Discography

Sweetest Friend - 4-track EP

Tracklisting:

1. Sweetest Friend
2. Hard Time Wakin
3. Take Care of Me
4. Mississippi

Photos

Bio

In 2006, the band established their position on the Northern Ireland music scene with a number of impressive gigs in high profile venues across the country, with the highlight being a support slot for “the Waiting Room” (none other than Dr Karl Kennedy from Neighbours) at a sold-out Mandela Hall.

Other gigs, including twice being named as support for highly rated Cambridge-based outfit “The Broken Family Band”, and appearances at Belfest 2006 and GIFTED @ The Empire, have helped Captain Kennedy build up a solid and loyal fan base.

The band also recently released their debut EP “Sweetest Friend” which has received excellent feedback from the press (see press section) and regular airplay on local radio stations. A video for the song Sweetest Friend, directed by Manchini.co.uk, has also been released and is causing quite a stir on the internet.

With another EP planned for release and further gigs scheduled throughout the next few months (including their 4th appearance at GIFTED @ The Empire), expect to hear a lot more from the Captain Kennedy boys during the rest of 2007!