MusicRecord Reviews

The Kenney Blackmon String Band

Get off the grid. Buy gold. Subscribe to a pre-Industrial Revolution standard of living. Become a pedestrian, maybe ride a horse. We’re living in anomalous times, friends. Eating bananas from Costa Rica, taking phone calls from anywhere and plugging in electric guitars without having to leave our futons.

None of this is normal. Our great-great grandparents didn’t enjoy these complicated luxuries. So, before the reset button sends us back to a world where leaves were raked and letters written, get prepared.

Start by becoming familiar with The Kenney Blackmon String Band, purveyors of a haimish, batteries-not-included brand of music that pairs nicely with muscadine wine and the sounds of a meadow not being mowed. Recorded during a three-day run at John Keane Studios, the album features singer/songwriter Jason Kenney, joined by the Blackmons (multi-instrumentalist Caroline Noel and her husband David on fiddle) with bassist Chris Enghauser. The versatile quartet performs Irish jigs (“Banish Misfortune”), bluegrass standards (“Kentucky Mandolinâ€) and even a waltz, but it’s the album opener (and Jonathan Byrd cover) “Jesus Was a Bootlegger” that immediately captures the listener’s attention. Kenney originals “I’ll Follow You” and “Long Way from God” hold that attention and leave us curious to see what the future holds for this talented young storyteller.