To start an artist bio by dropping names of big time artists and those from days gone by may not be in the lesson book. But when you compare said artist to the intellect of Harry Chapin, the lightheartedness of Jim Croce and the intensity of Lyle Lovett you put them in pretty damn good company. No, Jason Kenney does not sound like any of these folks. But he channels like them. He has that kind of insight and is tapped in to the same creative spigot. He’s that good.
The music of Jason Kenney IS Americana. The nuts and bolts are acoustic-based, yet electric, folk and rock with a slight country twist. Dig deeper and it comes up completely fresh with a nod to the past. His songs are well-crafted, the musicianship is right where it needs to be and the voice is like a sunny spring morning bursting with energy. It’s music you’ll want to listen to over and over again. Music that needs to be heard. Music that will endure.
Back to name dropping. When you consider that Jason frequently works with Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls and A-list Producer John Keane you get a sense for the quality of the final product. And sharing the stage with the likes of Zac Brown, Shawn Mullins, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Jonathan Byrd, Corey Smith and many more on their level doesn’t hurt either. It paints a picture of an up-and-coming young artist ready to pick up the Americana flag and hightail it up the hill.
Not his first record by far, but his first solo effort, “Turn This Sorrow Into Joy”, was released in April of 2014. It was produced by John Keane and features Amy Ray throughout, among others. To quote a long-time friend, “There’s not a stinker on it. Every song means something, stands on it’s own and is just as fresh the 478th time you listen to it.” Again, it’s just that good. Listeners have likened it to Mumford and Sons or Avett Brothers because of its personal storytelling and genre-defying instrumentation. The truth is, it deserves comparison with Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie in its call to the downhearted and weary to carry on – together.