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The Kennedys with Ray Mason ~ 2014 May 3 ~ Sandywoods Music ~ Tiverton, RI

... by Joanne Corsano ...

Personnel: Maura Kennedy, lead and backing vocals, acoustic guitar; Pete Kennedy, lead and backing vocals, acoustic guitar; Ray Mason, opening set, vocals and Silvertone guitar, and electric bass on a few songs with The Kennedys.

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"Alabama Rain"



The Kennedys
Maura and Pete Kennedy
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The Kennedys describe themselves on their website as "folk rock." But that doesn't quite do justice to Pete Kennedy's apparently effortless guitar mastery, or to Maura Kennedy's joyful rock-star playfulness, or to the flawlessly melding vocals from the pair.

This married couple has a deep range of material, mainly from the folk realm but also drawing from blues and rock. Before the show Pete Kennedy circulated through the crowd asking for requests. They then did their best to play most, or all, of them. This is an interesting way to construct a set list, since (as Pete pointed out from stage) at least one person in the audience will like each song. They played a generous number of covers ranging from a 300-year old Child ballad about infidelity and mayhem to a mini-set paying tribute to the Everly Brothers; this included an impromptu attempt at an audience request. They finished with a stirring rendition of their anthem "Stand."

For sure they're a stylish couple. Pete wore a fringed cowboy shirt and a jaunty cap. Maura wore a fashionable sleeveless polka-dot dress, and in the second set changed to an equally fashionable 2/3 sleeve minidress with a black, white & gray faux southwest pattern.

Pete Kennedy has the lightest touch on the guitar I've ever seen. His playing is so under-stated, it's hard to believe sometimes that those flawlessly clear notes are actually coming from his instrument. He comes at the neck of the guitar from all angles, sometimes creating the impression that he is hardly touching the strings. It is a true pleasure to watch such a master at work. Maura, also an accomplished guitarist, adds high energy, joyful enthusiasm, and a lively set of rock star poses.

For Concert Going Partner and me, this was our first visit to Sandywoods Music in the Rhode Island coastal community of Tiverton. It is a relatively new venue, situated in an artist's colony, easy to find from Rte. 88 heading down from the Fall River region of Massachusetts. A reasonably large stage faces the room, filled with tables that seat eight. It's an airy and bright space, with lots of windows. The decor features a wall of very creative art (paintings, photography) from the talented teenagers involved in the local arts scene. Also on display is the "world's largest hurdy-gurdy." This venue encourages you to bring your own food and drink, and they allow you to call ahead to reserve a ticket and then pay the pre-sale price for the ticket. Ticket prices are reasonable anyway, and a raffle enabled one lucky concert goer to walk away with a pair of tickets for an upcoming show. There's plenty of parking on the street in front of the venue. I liked the place, and intend to return!

This is my third time seeing The Kennedys, and each time they have shared the stage with another of my favorites. They shared the stage with the Grand Slambovians at 2013's New Bedford Folk Festival. In 2008 I saw them perform a concert at the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River. At that show, The Lonesome Brothers (Ray Mason and Jim Armenti) opened the show and accompanied The Kennedys on a few songs. Tonight, the show was opened by Ray Mason solo, who then also accompanied The Kennedys on bass on a few songs in the second set, and he took a bass solo during one song late in the show.

Ray Mason's opening set: I'm Not That Kind of Guy - Reverb & a Zip Code - Liner Notes - Monkey in a Convent - Are You Ready {Barbara Mason} - Cats - When I Meet You on the Moon

More Ray

Here is a page with a handy list of links to all pages on this website with content relating to Ray Mason, the Ray Mason Band, or the Lonesome Brothers.

Click for 2014 Concert Page with links to all 2014 concerts ... Click for Main Concert Page with links to all years

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