Kevin Sekhani
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Kevin Sekhani

Lafayette, Louisiana, United States | INDIE

Lafayette, Louisiana, United States | INDIE
Band Americana Rock


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"GRAMMY Ballot Press Release for Best Americana Album"


Kevin Sekhani considered for official GRAMMY® Nomination.
Kevin Sekhani’s recently released album, Sumner Street, is being considered for nomination in the GRAMMY® Best Americana Album category. Sumner Street is a rich, organic blend of alternative country-style Americana and pop. It is textured with fiddle, accordion and Dobro and showcases Kevin's Louisiana roots both musically and lyrically.
Joining Kevin in the studio for the Sumner Street sessions was a host of musicians, including Andrew Duplantis (Son Volt, Jon Dee Graham, Radio Thieves), Michael Ramos (John Mellencamp, Patty Griffin, Los Lonely Boys) and Warren Hood (The Waybacks, Warren Hood & The Hoodlums). Evocative songs such as “Carol Ann” and “Oilfield Tan” (a nod to the Louisiana oilfield worker) are dripping with moss, delivering you right to the levee at Henderson Swamp, while “Ballad of a Lonely Clown” and “Jimmy” would feel at home on the Grand Ole Opry stage.
The 52nd Annual GRAMMY® Awards Ceremony is scheduled to be held on January 31, 2010, in Los Angeles, California.
- PR

"Kevin Sekhani Sumner Street Album Review"

With a voice slightly reminiscent of a young Steve Earle, solid songwriting, and musicians that include a member of Son Volt and veterans of the backing bands of Patty Griffin and John Mellencamp, Kevin Sekhani's Sumner Street is one of the best debut albums I have heard in years. Somehow it slipped under my radar when released last year, but after being asked by Mr. Sekhani, a member of the online No Depression community, to listen to the album I did so and the record kept me company for most of the trip from Ohio to Florida. It displays a strong love of country music and classic rock, but more than anything else it displays, both musically and lyrically, Sekhani's Louisiana heritage.

The album opens with "Walk Away From Me", a mid-tempo rootsy rocker with a catchy chorus. There's some excellent guitar here as well and overall it makes for a great opening. By the third listen, I was singing along.

Even better is "Carol Ann", the album's second and perhaps best track. This tune displays strong Cajun influences with its prominent accordion and fiddle, but it also has the raw power of a great rock song and some of the record's best lyrics. "Then shortly after," he sings, "for you I start livin' right/When I'm runnin' faster she's ahead of me/Carol Ann"

"Jimmy" follows and it is in the spirit of classic country tunes from the '60s. The song features rapid lyrics and a great finger-picked guitar. It's not among my favorites on the album, but it is a fun, rollicking track, especially when its coming through you car stereo.

"Burial Ground" is a rock track with the band in excellent form and lyrics about loneliness and emptiness. "My last fear has been been used up/Six long years of feeling all dried up" he sings and then tells us that "Nothing changes, always stays the same". Yet amidst all of this, the song manages to be so damn catchy that you do not get a sense of depression unless you stop and think about the lyrics.

"Wrong Direction" is one of my favorites on the album. With its '60s rock styled-guitars, accordion, fiddle and gloomy lyrics about "Heaven on earth that feels like Hell" it sounds as if it could have been a Mellencamp outtake from The Lonesome Jubilee. And as anybody familiar with my past writing here or my personal taste knows, that is one of the highest compliments I can give.

"Oilfield Tan" is a tune that some of you on the site may already be familiar with. It was featured on the site's music player and I also featured the song in a recent blog post about the Gulf oil spill. In this tune, another of the album's best, Sekhani declares over a Cajun-influenced backing that he is an "oilfield man" and that "I baptized myself in all this water and sand". Like Steve Earle's "The Mountain", Mellencamp's "Rain on the Scarecrow", and countless other songs in that vein the song tells the story of a group of people who are often forgotten and neglected in the modern world and celebrates their lifestyle. "Oil pays my rent," he sings, "I'll be a drillin' S.O.B. 'til I die".

"Jump Right Back" is a catchy country-rocker with another set of fine, albeit slightly bitter, lyrics. "You were one to never shed a tear/Bein' alone was your one biggest fear/Yeah, it's still gotta be done." But as on "Burial Ground", this is somewhat hidden by the catchy melody.

"Ballad of a Lonely Clown" is a great country break-up song that wouldn't sound out of place on a Buck Owens or Merle Haggard record.

This is followed by "Higher I Get", a great country rock track that would have fit right into top 40 radio in the heyday of the Eagles (or for that matter, modern country radio although it is much too good to ever be heard there) with is electric guitar reminiscent of their "Already Gone". This easily ranks as one of my favorites on the album.

"Goodbye" is a mostly acoustic ballad with some excellent lyrics ("The silence is what keeps me from bein' warm") and it displays Sekhani's ability to slow things down with great results.

"Millionaire" is another Cajun-influenced country track, with a slight R&B feel to the melody.

"Kiss" is an acoustic rock ballad about an affair with a "neighbor's wife" that began with "one innocent kiss". Sekhani once again shows his penchant for catchy melodies and choruses.

The album ends with the title track, a classic rock-styled mid-tempo number that again deals with loneliness. I know this is getting redundant, but this tune also is very catchy and it makes an effective closer to a great album.

I would highly recommend this album to anybody who enjoys roots rock and Louisiana music. It blends both of these styles and more flawlessly and with his ability to craft memorable melodies, it's a shame that things like that are no longer what sells records. But keep your eye on him in the future because this is only his debut. - No Depression

"Driving home For his latest album, Kevin Sekhani walks the street he used to know"

Cody Daigle

The shorter the distance between a man and his music, the closer he is to greatness.
Austin-based singer songwriter and Lafayette native Kevin Sekhani has been traveling that distance since the creation of his first band, Radio Thieves, in 1991, and through the years (and multiple musical permutations since), Sekhani is bridging the distance with his first solo album, Sumner Street.

Sumner Street is a rich, organic blend of alternative country-style Americana and pop. It is textured with fiddle, accordion and Dobro and showcases Kevin's Louisiana roots both musically and lyrically.

The resulting 13-track set is a revealingly personal album with an exuberant spirit and an affection for Southern sounds and honoring traditions.

Sekhani spoke with The Times about his influences, the new album and bringing this personal set of songs to fans around the country.

Times of Acadiana: What got you started in music? What were your influences, early experiences, inspirations?

Kevin Sekhani: For as long as I can remember, music has been a part of my life. I can recall Hank Williams, Jerry Lee Lewis and AM radio being played at my grandparents' house when I was very young.

There are two moments that really shaped my desire to play music. The first was when I heard Fame by David Bowie for the first time. The song was on the jukebox of my parents’ restaurant, and the sounds I heard were so foreign and thrilling and I knew immediately that I wanted to do that ... whatever that was.

The second moment was seeing my classmate at S.J. Montgomery, Dwayne Parker, sing live at the school talent show. I have been trying to emulate him ever since.

ToA: I’m interested in what shaped your sound and sensibility as a singer-songwriter. I like that there’s a sense of humor in your work, a fun spirit, and I’m wondering how that evolved for you.

Sekhani: My sound has constantly evolved, and continues to do so. I have never made the same record twice, and that has been both a blessing and a curse.

Although I have been writing for a while, this album has more of myself in it than previous ones. I think my sense of humor has been excluded from my music for a large part of my catalog. For this record, I knew it was time to make it more like me, and it was important that I make it fun to both record and play live.

ToA: Tell us a little about the new album, Sumner Street, and what it says about where you are with your music right now. Did it take you in some new directions? Were there things that surprised you in the making of it?

Sekhani: The thing that surprised me the most about this album is that when I finally decided how I wanted to cut it, I was surprised by how fast it was recorded. I collected my friends, worked them up and hit the ground running once we got into the studio.

Initially, the subject matter of the record was really surprising because I was writing lyrics about South Louisiana and my experiences as well as experiences of people I know from the area. The fact that five of the guys who play on this record are from the Lafayette area certainly adds character and credibility to the music.

As for new direction, I have begun writing songs for the next record, and although it is early in the process, there is a definite rural influence to which I think many will relate.

ToA: What's it been like taking these new songs to audiences? What’s the response been so far to them? Have audiences in different parts of the country embraced them in different ways?

Sekhani: The response has been great! People are smiling back at us on-stage which is always a good sign. All of the little details about an audience vary.

The show's time, day of the week and proximity to payday are all factors that influence an audience's enthusiasm and attitude.

At a recent show in West Texas, people danced for most of the show. We could tell the crowd wanted to get to know us, and once they felt comfortable with our music, they let loose on the dance floor. It was great to see.

ToA: Getting the word out about your work is always something musicians tell me is a tough part of the job. What keeps you motivated in that regard, what keeps the fire under you to hit the road and get the word out?

Sekhani: The fire under me is my love for this job. I really enjoy every aspect of singing and performing, and that's what keeps me going. Writing and recording are fun and fulfilling, but being able to share what I do with audiences and listeners is my true motivator. I love what I do and I enjoy sharing that love with others.

ToA: What do you want someone to take away from your music, what's the imprint you want to leave on an audience member or a listener?

Sekhani: First and foremost, I want my music to resonate with people. I want both live audiences and people hearing the CD and songs to enjoy the lyrics and sound equally. I want people to have a great time, and I want my music to be part of that great time. I want the gigs to be fun, a real release from the stresses of life, and I want the record to be one that people want to hear over and over again.

Hopefully, listeners will find some of themselves in the music. I think that if you listen, you will find we are not that different.

- The Times of Acadiana


Two Minute Sinatra S/T
Two Minute Sinatra evaporate.
Parade Life* In Ten Songs or Less
Kevin Sekhani Sumner Street 2009



Kevin Sekhani, a native of Lafayette, Louisiana, having worked as the front man for such diverse bands as Radio Thieves, Two Minute Sinatra and Parade for the better part of two decades, recently released his first solo album. The result, Sumner Street, is a 13 song tribute to Kevin's Louisiana heritage represented by an exuberant spirit and affection for southern sounds and South Louisiana traditions.

Joining Kevin in the studio for the Sumner Street sessions is a host of Louisiana musicians including Andrew Duplantis (Son Volt, Jon Dee Graham), Blake Simon (Mike Dean Band and local troubadour Drew Landry), Rounding out the lineup are seasoned musicians and friends Michael Ramos(John Mellencamp, Patty Griffin, Los Lonely Boys) and Warren Hood (The Waybacks, Warren Hood & The Hoodlums).

Evocative songs such as "Carol Ann" and "Oilfield Tan" (a nod to the Louisiana oilfield worker) are dripping with moss, delivering you right to the levee at Henderson Swamp, while "Ballad of a Lonely Clown" and "Jimmy" would feel at home on the Grand Ole Opry stage.

Sumner Street earned a ballot spot for nomination in the 2009 GRAMMY® Best Americana Album category alongside the likes of Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp, Wilco, Willie Nelson and other notable artists.

Kevin has just completed recording and is preparing to release the follow-up to Sumner Street, the mischievously titled Cheatin' Time. Cheatin' Time, another slice of South Louisiana-infused Americana, was co-produced by Kevin and frequent collaborator Michael Ramos.

The new album picks up, thematically, where Sumner Street left off telling stories and lyrically painting pictures of sugar cane harvesting, salvation, and small town life. Both Sumner Street and Cheatin'Time are a rich, organic blend of alternative country-style Americana and pop. Textured with fiddle, accordion and Dobro, both albums showcase Kevin's Louisiana roots both musically and lyrically.

With a live show that is a dynamic mix of country, rock and soul, this live show is ideal for both the smallest of stages and largest of festivals.


Kelly Miller


Shelly Dupré
410 Communications