I checked out this new CD from St. Louis musician Kevin Buckley today. A link to it had been sent to me via email several days ago and I downloaded it. I regret it taking me several days to get around to giving it a listen. Kevin Buckley is new to me and this CD, Big Spring, is a sleeper. It snuck up on me. I’m always wanting to hear something new and fresh, and this falls firmly into both categories.
While each individual track on Big Spring is definable, the CD is not easily done. Strongly Celtic, but old-timeyish at times, Bluegrassish at times, and jazzy and swingy at others. I’ve always liked undefinable music from performers who can give us a taste of several genres. And as far as a genre goes, Americana with international influences is a good place to start, but that’s hardly a genre in its own right.
Buckley gives us twelve tunes/songs:
- Sweeney’s Wheel
- Ryder’s Block
- The Blackest Crow
- Hardiman the Fiddler
- Marcelle et Marcel
- Never Tire of the Road
- The Queen and the Cook
- La Rubia
- The Belles of St. Louis
- City of Savannah
- Miss Bailey
- Ships are Sailing
Several musicians helped Buckley on various songs. Buckley works the fiddle and guitar and the bouzouki, and octave mandolin on song or two; Alan Murray on bouzouki; Gerard Erkey on banjo; Eileen Gannon on harp; Jon Ferber on guitar; Dan Lowery and Alex Sinclair lend a hand on some vocals; and Eimear Arkins and Ian Walsh lend some harmony fiddles. I enjoyed all their work.
I listened to the CD prior to looking at the musician credits, initially expecting all instrumentals. I was surprised when I got some good vocals and harmony. My favorite song on this CD is Never Tire of the Road, a pleasant ballad about the trials of a traveling performer, written by one Andy Levine, featuring a solo Buckley doing the vocals accompanying himself on the bouzouki.
Their are tastes of several genres here, not enough to satisfy purists in any genre, but enough to satisfy anyone wanting pleasant musical interlude. I Big Spring thoroughly enjoyable, a perfect CD for a road trip, or a front porch sitting.