Kenn Kweder

Kwederology, Vol. 2

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When Kenn Kweder turned 50 on January 29, 2002, one Philadelphia reviewer commented on how the veteran singer/songwriter hadn't lost his youthful appearance. He didn't have the haggard, beat-up, worn-out look that aging rockers can get if they've done too much partying -- and Kweder certainly did his share of hard living in his younger days. But the Philadelphian had cleaned up his act along the way; perhaps that explains his relatively youthful appearance at 50. Another possible explanation is Kweder's state of mind; perhaps he's genuinely proud of his creative accomplishments (he should be), and perhaps his overall state of mind affected his physical appearance. That's speculation, of course. What we can say for certain is that if Kwederology, Vol. 2 is Kweder's way of patting himself on the back, that pat on the back is well deserved. Like the double-CD Kwederology, Vol. 1, this single-disc retrospective is more appropriate for collectors and hardcore fans than casual listeners. Some of the tracks that Kweder chooses are essential, but some are rarities (including some previously unreleased live tracks) that will interest collectors more than casual listeners. Nonetheless, volume two paints an attractive, if imperfect, picture of Kweder's artistry. Kweder the sensitive folk-rocker is nicely represented by "Mighty River" and "Girl With the Dylan Flowers"; Kweder the brash rocker is nicely represented by the defiant "Do What I Want." The oldest track -- one of the rarities -- is a live performance of the rockin' "Man's Got a Gun" at Max's Kansas City in New York in 1977. And there is an early-2002 performance of the humorous "Ballad of Manute Bol." So volume two spans a quarter of a century. Full of surprises, this CD is quite interesting if you have more than just a casual interest in Kweder's history.