al stewart

T h e..K e n n e d y s

beach full of shells

The Kennedys
Half a Million


“. . . A beguiling blend of world-bleary street-smarts and bug-eyed spiritual innocence; set to jingle-jangle, folk-rock melodies, cheek-to-cheek harmonies, and superbly realized arrangements. A word of warning: their crackling cover of Bob Dylan’s ’60s anthem, ‘Chimes of Freedom,’ could have you scribbling your own protest signs and marching on Washington.” (Top 10 List of Best CDs of 2005)
– Scott Alarik, Boston Globe
“Road warriors Pete and Maura Kennedy move their tack to Appleseed for their new album, Half a Million Miles, a sparkling collection of 10 originals and two covers. They wisely use the lyric pages in the booklet to add notes that shed extra light on the ‘why’ and ‘when” of each of its songs. . . . The album’s recorded sound is gorgeous, exceptional, with a mastered sound that leaps to meet your ears. I suspect Pete and Maura are especially proud of Half a Million Miles. It really is one of their best, brightest albums. Terrific songwriting and cover choices played with verve and delight make this a wonderful album.”
– Michael Tearson, Sing Out!
“Having crisscrossed the country to perform a thousand gigs or so doesn’t guarantee an exalted level of artistic expression, but it does increase the odds. Half a Million Miles, [The Kennedys’] eighth album, only confirms the extent to which they’ve honed their craft. Using a jangly musical amalgam that draws mostly from folk, rock and country, they offer secular gospel gems reflective of a mindful philosophy.”
– Paul E. Comeau, No Depression
“This shimmering set of folk-rock and alt-country from the husband and wife team of Pete and Maura Kennedy features their gorgeous harmonies, jangling and twangy guitars, and a superb set of original songs. There’s a heavy influence of early rock ‘n’ roll in their music... Their own songs are complemented by an anthemic version of Dylan’s ‘Chimes of Freedom’ and a heartbreaking rendition of Richard Thompson’s ‘How Will I Ever Be Simple Again?’ (****1/2, #3 in Top 10 Country/Roots CDs of 2005)”
– Mike Regenstreif, Montreal Gazette and The National Post
“Pete and Maura Kennedy, who perform together as the Kennedys, harmonize together as if they’ve been partners their whole lives. Their newest album, Half a Million Miles, is . . . a generous mix of jangly, ’60s-influenced pop and singer-songwriter country elements. Perhaps no better introduction to their aesthetic can be found than the back-to-back placement of Richard Thompson’s ‘How Will I Ever Be Simple Again’ and Bob Dylan’s ‘Chimes of Freedom.’ Understand that ‘Chimes’ echoes the Byrds’ version more than Dylan’s, and you'll have the idea. The Kennedys’ clear-headed optimism that the world can be a better place comes not from ignoring the pain and suffering out there, but in the knowledge that there is just as much beauty to see.” 
– Steve Pick, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“If you’re new to the duo, you’ll note from this that they're not your usual purveyors of Americana. ‘Namaste’ may be a jangling slice of ’60s pop with a ‘La Bamba’-ish chorus but lyrically it derives from an East Village sushi bar owner’s wife who greets customers with a greeting that translates as ‘the divine in me recognizes the divine in you,’ while all their own songs carry references to Buddhism’s credo of enlightenment and living life with the senses open. So, a fair bit of summer of love vibes as they namecheck or draw inspiration from Thoreau (‘Listen’), Ralph Waldo Emerson (‘Here and Now,’ adapted from his ‘Self Reliance’ essay), Joseph Campbell, Jack Kerouac (train song ‘Midnight Ghost’), a Sumerian version of Noah's flood (‘Nuah’) and some East Village New Age store (‘9th Street Billy’). . . . It weaves a musical mood that tips the hat to the likes of Carole King, Maria Muldaur, The Band and Sandy Denny and, just to underline the pedigree of their musical influences they slip in sterling covers of Richard Thompson's Belfast lament ‘How Will I Ever Be Simple Again’ and Dylan's ‘Chimes of Freedom.’ Here's to the next half a million then.”
– Mike Davies, NetRhythms
 “Have I told you lately I love The Kennedys? Not just the crisp, breezy clang-jangle of Pete's guitars or Maura’s vocal effervescence. It’s not just the sincerity and universality of their songs, reassuring us to savor the glorious now, as their music skips through our hearts and heads, making us shinier, happier people. . . .Quite simply, I love Pete and Maura because they invite us all to celebrate their ten years together – livin’, lovin’, giggin’, tourin’ – in the exuberant title track. ‘Namaste,’ where ‘The divine in you recognizes the divine in me’ sets the tone of my whole day. The chugging ‘Midnight Ghost’ revives the wide open mind and spirit of Kerouac's America. ‘Listen’ and ‘Live’ cools me when I’m set to boil. Even cover versions of Richard Thompson’s plaintive ‘How Will I Ever Be Simple Again’ and Dylan’s iconoclastic ‘Chimes of Freedom’ sound like Kennedys’ songs. How many artists can achieve that? Unafraid to mix philosophy, spirituality, love and artistry with a folk-rock back beat is what makes this duo a positive force on all things human." 
– Mike Jurkovic, Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
“The lack of road-wear on their talent has never been a question, as their fans will tell you and as this album illustrates. It starts strong with the title track and carries on for a dozen tunes with nary a miss. Songs such as ‘Namaste’ carry the classic Kennedys sound.”
– Ray Sidman, Discoveries