Kevin Kling

Home & Away

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AllMusic Review by Steven McDonald

This is an album adaptation of Kevin Kling's Home and Away one-man stage show. While the focus of the stories is Kling's life in Minnesota, the stage show itself was originally commissioned and performed in Seattle, WA, while the album was recorded in Brattleboro, VT, in 1994. East Side Digital has brought Kling back to Minnesota with this release, however, which is a nice idea. His style of storytelling, even in the longer pieces, consists of a headlong rush of words that seem almost to deny him the ability to catch a breath along the way -- despite which, every word is comprehensible, and the stories are easy to follow; neither the Minnesota accent nor the stream-of-consciousness sidetracks (Kling doesn't like to formalize his work by writing his stories down, a rare example of oral tradition at work) create confusion. Kling's subjects tend to be more about the home element than the away part (though he does a wonderful piece about a visit to Australia and climbing Ayers Rock), with a particular focus on his father. One highlight from this release is "Lightning," a short piece that illuminates the weirdness of the artist's background in a funny, warm way. Not likely to be suited to every taste, but highly recommended anyway.

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