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The Kennedys with Quentin Callewaert ~ 2016 April 15 ~ Amazing Things Art Center ~ Framingham, MA

... by Joanne Corsano ...

Pete Kennedy, vocals, electric guitar, ukulele; Maura Kennedy, vocals, acoustic guitar; Quentin Callewaert, opening set and two songs with The Kennedys, guitar and vocals

Set List

{MK} = from Maura's recent solo album 'Villanelle'; {PK} = from Pete's recent solo album 'Heart of Gotham'

Boddhisatva Blues - Locket - Southern Jumbo - Villanelle {MK} - Fireflies {MK} - She Worked Her Magic on Me {MK} - Riot in Bushwick {PK} - Travel Day Blues ... intermission ... Life Is Large - Late Night Grand Hotel {Nancy Griffith} - Wall of Death {Richard Thompson} - Jasmine {John Stewart} - Williamsburg Bridge {PK} - Somewhere Over the Rainbow {instrumental) - Oh Boy {Buddy Holly} - Rhapsody In Blue {Gershwin, played by Pete on the ukulele} - Jam (featuring bits of 'Eight Miles High' & most of 'A Day in the Life') ... encore ... Stand (with Quentin on guitar and backing vocals)


Scroll down past the videos for review.

"Boddhisatva Blues"

"Oh Boy"

"Rhapsody in Blue" on ukulele

"Williamsburg Bridge"

"Stand" with Quentin Callewaert


Maura and Pete Kennedy
Maura and Pete Kennedy
click thumbnail to see a photo gallery of the concert

Folk duo The Kennedys played songs from their recent solo albums and their recent band album for their first set. Pete and Maura have strong complimentary skills. Maura is a strong singer and has a bubbly stage personality; Pete is a great guitarist, more serious on stage. But Maura is also a very good rhythm guitarist -- even Pete couldn't make this big a sound by himself -- and Pete is also a very good singer. They are both exceptionally good songwriters.

Both of their recent solo albums, Maura's Villanelle and Pete's Heart of Gotham are tuneful, thoughtful, enjoyable albums with superb songwriting and musicianship. Maura's album is a collaboration with poet B.D. Love, who wrote all the lyrics for the album, leaving Maura the challenging task of creating music to match the lyrics. It's a successful partnership. Pete's album is a real revelation. It's the first time Pete has handled this many lead vocals, and man is he good. The songs, the music, the themes of New York stories, all are good enough to recall the music of Willie Nile, the world's greatest New York singer/songwriter. It was a real pleasure to hear a sampling from both these solo albums.

At intermission Pete Kennedy solicited requests from the audience for an all-request second set. I was a little distressed that most fans requested covers, since The Kennedys have so much strong material of their own. I must say, however, that the set held together beautifully and showcased a real variety of their skills, from their own upbeat "Life Is Large," to an enthusiastic romp of a Buddy Holly song, "Oh Boy," to Pete's wonderfully fun ukulele version of "Rhapsody in Blue," to an 8 minute guitar and vocal mashup just called "Jam," in which Pete played riffs from probably close to a hundred songs from the rock 'n' roll era, sometimes joined by Maura on guitar and vocals.

The show was opened by 15 year old guitar phenom Quentin Callewaert, who played about a half dozen songs from a variety of genres, then was joined by Pete on stage for his final number. Quentin then joined The Kennedys for their encore, the anthemic "Stand."

The Amazing Things Art Center is an excellent venue, housed in a former firehouse (just like The Center For the Arts in Natick, just down the road a few miles). About 100 seats arranged in sloping rows in front of the stage afford a good view from any seat. There is a 15 foot space between the first row and the stage, which created a somewhat weird disconnect between performers and audience, but would come in handy for a dance floor. On the second floor was an art show by a local visual artist.

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