Paul Kennerley

Misery with a Beat

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This EP from songwriter Paul Kennerley is strong evidence in favor of the argument that American roots music, including hardcore country & western, has deep roots in the folk and popular musics of Britain and Ireland. A native of Great Britain, Kennerley has made a name for himself in Nashville writing for artists like Marty Stuart, Patty Loveless and the Judds. Surprisingly, this transplant is responsible for "Western Girls" and "Hillbilly Rock," Stuart's paeans to very specific aspects of popular American culture. With this EP, Kennerley indulges his whim for more 1960s pop-driven tunes. And he does it well -- everything has a good beat and you can dance to it. While he has honed his craft, he is also able to move through time, space and musical styles with ease. "Love Match," "Tryin' to Get Over You" and "The Heartbreak Kind," a co-write with Stuart, all reflect the connection of Kennerley's art to his British background. Tunes such as these could well have been cut by Gerry & the Pacemakers or Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders.

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