“Make no mistake, ‘Turn This Sorrow Into Joy,’ by Jason Kenney, is a Folk record. Though listeners will be tempted to relate it to Mumford and Sons or Avett Brothers because of its personal storytelling and genre defying instrumentation, it is a much truer representation of an American Folk record. It deserves comparison with Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie in its call to the downhearted and weary to carry on, together.
Songs like ‘Come All Ye Tenderhearted’ sweep the listener into the movement and remind us of the power of a song to change the world – or to simply brighten a day. Using simple melodies and complex textures ‘Turn This Sorrow Into Joy’ demonstrates great respect for the history of American Folk music with ample modern flare. Seeger lead a never ending sing along and before you even know all the words, you’ll be singing along with Jason.”
“Jason Kenney is a feel-good acoustic singer-songwriter whose songs are like early morning Sunday service at a dirt road country church.”
Music lovers of a certain age might remember Jason Kenney as the prodigy who was dazzling everyone with his old-soul precocity and versatility on guitar, banjo, and mandolin when he was still just a junior at Lumpkin County High and releasing his first album. Since then, he has spent some seasoning years on the road and in the studio with a handful of virtuoso mentors, including fiddler David Blackmon (the Kenney-Blackmon String Band), his friends in HomeGrown Revival, and Athens recording wizard John Keane, who added some aching pedal steel on Kenney’s fourth album, Turn This Sorrow Into Joy. These original songs beautifully realize the titular mission statement: hard-won catharsis. Jason Kenny has grown up, but his ideals are no worse for wear. “All Ye Tenderhearted” cheers on his kindred spirits to change the world, or at least brighten someone’s day. Amy Ray lends her recognizable vocals (and coveted imprimatur) to three songs, and Jonathan Byrd can be heard harmonizing on “Slip Away.” Here and there are some surprisingly jazzy, Romany flourishes on an otherwise straight-ahead folk collection rooted in the sturdy ground of his native Appalachia. The overall mood is one of healing. He sings, “This love in my heart, the world didn’t give it to me, and the world can’t take it away.” Luckily for us, though, he is willing to share it.
“Jason brings extraordinary energy, musicianship, and technical skills into the classroom. He teaches students to love music and to enjoy the process for learning it.”
“Jason Kenney has been a significant force in the musical world of Dahlonega, Georgia, and his contributions as a teacher of many instruments to all ages have made a big difference in our community. My husband and I moved to Dahlonega in 2009 and I immediately began volunteering in the Georgia Pick & Bow Traditional Music School. Jason impressed me with his energy and musical prowess, and then when I became Director a few years later, I had the privilege of watching him teach and collaborating with him during the jam times of our program. An after school program such as ours brings in children ages 9 through 17, and some of the younger ones are there because of their parents wishes more so than their own. Jason is able to bring even the most reluctant student into the world of playing with his good humor, excellent instruction, and encouragement. I can’t say enough good things about this inspiring individual.”
“We first met Jason when our kids were in 5th grade. We were new to Dahlonega and we needed to get them involved in new activities. Jason immediately got “inside their heads” and figured out the absolute best teaching methods for each. All I can say is that seven years later our son is playing guitar in the school jazz band and our daughter is writing her own music and lyrics.
Jason is one of the kindest souls on this earth and brings an amazing wealth of musical prowess with him. We are blessed proud to call him teacher and friend.”
“Skilled and passionate, Jason Kenney offers the gift of music to all who are interested. If you are ready to study music, the teacher has come.”
“Jason is a very talented and dedicated person. His passion for music makes his classes very enthusiastic for the kids. He has been teaching my kids Ricky, Nicole and Andrea Limehouse for over 4 years. I do not come from a musicians family, but I believe my kids will carry Jason’s lessons forever in their lives. Thank you Jason for your patience and love at each class. We love you.”