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


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The Kennedys
Songs of the Open Road



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track listing

1.This Moment itunesbuy
2. Eight Miles High itunesbuy
3. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall itunesbuy
4. Pretty Girl Why itunesbuy
5. Gypsy Rose itunesbuy
6. Raging Eyes itunesbuy
7. Gypsy Rider itunesbuy
8. Galveston itunesbuy
9. Jasmine itunesbuy
10. Eye on the Road itunesbuy
11. Happytown (All Right with Me) itunesbuy
12. Sin City itunesbuy
13. I'm On My Why itunesbuy
14. Late Night Grande Hotel itunesbuy


Modern folk-rock’s standard bearers present new versions of their favorite classics and lesser-known gems, from The Byrds and Flying Burritos to Victoria Williams and Dave Carter! 

Pete and Maura Kennedy’s Half a Million Miles CD celebrated their first decade of married life and their first 500,000 tour miles as increasingly beloved purveyors of an exuberant blend of folk, rock, country, pop and secular gospel music with philosophical underpinnings. On Songs of the Open Road, The Kennedys forego their self-composed songs of transcendent twang to present new versions of their favorite traveling music written by others that fit their own musical and personal outlook.

Pete and Maura’s on-the-road listening time, deep-catalogue musical knowledge and ongoing “Dharma Café” show on SIRIUS Satellite Radio have equipped them well to select and sequence the 14 songs that they recorded for this, their ninth disc. The first shimmering seconds of the CD’s opener, Victoria Williams’ tranquil “This Moment,” are like the initial plunge into a cool, calming pool, as Maura sings about appreciating each unique instant in life. After attuning us to the eternal now, The Kennedys launch us into the skies with a soaring version of one of their longtime onstage standards, The Byrds’ “Eight Miles High,” lifting off on a psychedelic swarm of guitars, electric sitar, and kinetic rhythm section, with multi-instrumentalist Pete providing shadow-close harmonies to Maura’s sweet ’n’ sassy lead vocals.

The California folk-rock-country sound is heard frequently on Songs of the Open Road as The Kennedys play their way through the pantheon of great West Coast-based writers. Three former Byrds are represented by the cautionary “Sin City” (co-written by Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman while in the Flying Burrito Brothers) and Gene Clark’s elegantly mournful “Gypsy Rider,” a lonely highway classic. The sweet bossa nova lilt of Stephen Stills’ “Pretty Girl Why” (from the final Buffalo Springfield album) soothes the apocalyptic anguish of Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” which precedes it. “Galveston,” Glen Campbell’s 1969 hit written by Jimmy Webb, is a more oblique anti-war commentary, sung from the viewpoint of an overseas soldier yearning for his home and the girl he left behind. Americana pioneer and California native John Stewart provides the newest song on the album, the wistful “Jasmine” (from his 2006 Appleseed CD, The Day the River Sang), an alluring siren’s call to tour, while the legendarily enigmatic Bob Neuwirth’s “Eye on the Road” spells out the dangers of answering that sweet summons. 

The ache of the traveling musician is also the theme of “Late Night Grande Hotel,” written by The Kennedys’ friend and former employer, Nanci Griffith. Pete and Maura honor another soulmate, the late Dave Carter, whose original songs and partnership with Tracy Grammer mirrored The Kennedys’ naturalistic philosophy and relationship, by covering his twinkling “Happytown (All Right with Me)” and the yearning “Gypsy Rose,” a lovely remembrance of a long-gone lover.
Rounding out the CD are a rousing version of Mahalia Jackson’s gospel declaration, “I’m on My Way,” and a rocking rendition of “Raging Eyes,” penned by the collection’s one non-Yank, Nick Lowe, England’s delightful popsmith.

With its wide assortment of source material, delicate thematic threads, and sparkling vocals and arrangements, Songs of the Open Road can’t fail to expand The Kennedys’ reputation as imaginative and joyful musicians, conceptualists and “a positive force on all things human” (Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange).




other releases:

better dreams
Better Dreams
half a million miles
Half a Million Miles
also appears on:

sowing the seeds

Sowing the Seeds - The 10th Anniversary