|Twangin' Off, Kevin Fennell
Windsor Music BMI, 2008
No way you can put Kevin Fennell in a box named rockabilly, blues, bluegrass, surf or whatever. Kevin writes his own tunes and mixes his favorite styles as he sees fit. And that's what I like best about this fantastic artist. Kevin "Fingers" Fennell it says on the CD info. And that he is! Kevin played with Ray Campi for decades, and yes, you can hear Ray's influence in Kevin's music, but since Ray Campi was a great artist on his own accord who mixed rockabilly, hillbilly and bluegrass in a great way, learning from a master, Kevin delivers some great music.
Joel "Powerharp" Gossman is also on Kevin's new CD (again), I'm very glad he is, because he brings in that touch of blues to Kevin's mixed music. The opener "Fast Cat" is a song which Joel co-wrote with Kevin. Basically a fast rockabilly song, with the expert guitar slinging of Kevin. A catchy song, and that's probably why I like it so much. And I love hearing Ray Campi thumping his doghouse bass of course!
You can hear Joel blowing and sucking his harp on the fast boppin' "Boom Bam Bop", as well as on the bluesy "Down On Beale Street", on the instrumental "926 East McLemore Avenue", and on "Don't Mess With My Ride", another song with lotsa blues influences.
A nice touch is that you can sometimes hear the tube amps hum on the recordings, which adds nicely to the vintage sound. Ray Campi gets another go on the bass on "Psycho-Leena", not psychobilly mind you, but a song about a psycho lady. A lesson in fast twang by Kevin "Fingers" Fennell on the title song "Twangin' Off". He also pays a visit to Texas and sings a song about his home state California. Don't go with the flow, make your own music, and Kevin does a real fine job again!
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Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2008