Pete and Maura Kennedy met at the Continental Club in Austin
Texas. In the
dark confines of this roots rock sanctuary, they hit it off immediately.
twenty-four hours, they had written their first song, "Day
In and Day Out".
Pete was playing lead guitar with Nanci Griffith, and he left
town for a gig in
Telluride, Colorado, a thousand miles northwest of Austin. After
they spoke on the phone and agreed to meet at the equidistant
Texas. They each drove five hundred miles to celebrate their first
date at Buddy
Holly's grave, in the windy west Texan cotton town.
There was more cause for celebration when Maura joined Ms. Griffith's
and they set out on an extended tour of the British Isles, opening
over England, Ireland, and Scotland. In a dusty little dressing
room on the top
floor of Dublin's Olympia theatre, they penned the songs that
their first CD, "River of Fallen Stars". The CD was
awarded the "Indie" award in
1995 for "Best Adult Contemporary CD" by the National
Independent Record Distributors.
In 1995, the duo hit the road to record their second CD, the
is Large", which wove their talents with those of guests
Steve Earle, Kelly
Willis, Nils Lofgrin, Roger McGuinn, and the Dixie Hummingbirds.
nominated once again for the NAIRD Indie award, and the title
track became their
signature song. Their third CD, Angel Fire, was a largely acoustic,
collection. The following CD, Evolver, was a big, rocking set
the power pop "Pick You Up". In 2001, they released
"Positively Live!" a live
album that captured the blistering guitar jams and rocking vibe
that set them
apart from other acoustic acts.
Even though their name is Kennedy, they don't play Irish music,
though they wield acoustic guitars (bright orange Gretsch models),
they don't play
folk. They have loyal followings in both the pure guitar pop camp
singer-songwriter set, and they're known not only as a harmonizing
duo, but also
as collectors of vintage clothes, as independent record and video
and as the authors of a newly published book on music video.
The Kennedys are comfortable in a variety of styles ranging from
to soulful acoustic pop, and they write books and produce videos
not igniting incendiary Gretsch jams, but ultimately it's their
their love for each other, and their unashamedly idealistic pop
vision that has
carved them their own niche onstage and in the world of maverick
The Kennedys new release, Stand, is yet another superb work of
finely crafted pop. Joyful eclectics, The Kennedys salute all
genres past and
present, trampling over musical boundaries in their search for
The first track, "Dharma Café" is an ode to
your favorite boho coffeehouse,
the kind of place where you wrap your hands around a cup of non-corporate
espresso and wait your turn on open mic nite. "Raindrop"
is a road trip to sunshiny
California: it sounds like a lost outtake from "Smile".
The guitars ring like
bells, but if angels dance on the high E string, devils lurk on
the low one.
"Ashes and Sand" and its dark twin, "Don¹t
Hold Your Breath" are moody
ruminations on betrayal and mortality. And have you heard the
news? "Sincere" is back
in the pop music lexicon. There is, in fact, joy in The Kennedys¹
also a measure of pathos. There are, in places, moments of revelation
committed to tape. This is all part of what they do, day in and
day out, and the title
track, "Stand" brings it all home. A call for social,
political, and, above
all, spiritual tolerance, this is as close as pop comes to a new