Kerry Kearney

Welcome to the Psychedelta

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Kerry Kearney is a journeyman musician who has played guitar with Marty Balin in Balin's projects outside of Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship. He had a solo disc on CD Review magazine publisher Wayne Green's label after this writer signed Marty Balin for his Better Generation disc in the early '90s. The label signed Kearney behind the back of the A&R man, most likely to avoid commissions, but at least more music from this wonderful artist is available, despite the politics many artists aren't even aware of. This band effort, produced by Kerry and Tom Boland, features Charlie Wolfe on harmonica, Eileen Murphy on drums, Frank Celenza on electric and acoustic bass, and Jack Licitra from Jack's Waterfall on keyboards. It is very impressive. Welcome to the Psychedelta is Cajun, country, pop, and has a cohesion that brings these different styles together in a way that doesn't offend. "Steve's Blues" could be Mungo Jerry's "In the Summertime" gone underground, while "Went to See the Lord (But He Wasn't Home)" continues the fine tradition Doug Kershaw and Rusty Kershaw have kept alive. "Kiss Every Woman" has some amazing slide guitar and Charlie Wolfe wailing away on harp. Most of the tunes are Kerry Kearney originals, but the band throws some fun covers into the mix. "Shortnin Bread" takes the traditional song and gives it a subdued party atmosphere with the accordion playing against the harp. Nice stuff. Randy Scruggs is thanked for the beautiful rendition of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now," which, at only one minute and 17 seconds, is all too short, a shimmering instrumental version to end this album. "Long Grey Mare" takes a band who is crafting subtlety throughout the disc and lets them rock out like George Thorogood did in the '70s. Amazing guitar playing and solid accompaniment makes for a broad musical statement deserving exposure. Sam Taylor's vocal and guitar on "Thank You Jesus" is simply superb. The quiet gospel work Hoyt Axton was doing in 1971 is preserved here on Welcome to the Psychedelta's 13 songs and nearly 40 minutes of music.

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