New Braunfels resident and singer/songwriter Drew Kennedy (Official / Myspace) knows how to celebrate a birthday. The troubadour who dabbles in combinations of country, folks, rock and roots will has released an acoustic live album to commemorate his turning of 30. Oh, by the way, you can get it for free. Kind of a big deal, no? A limited number of specially packaged CD’s will be made available, but for those that need some convincing, the new record is there for the taking.
It would be easy to excuse him if he were to simply drop a new disc consisting only of older material from his 3 previous albums, including 2009′s splendid An Audio Guide to Cross Country Guide Travel, but that wouldn’t be special enough, as far as Kennedy is concerned.
Alone, But Not Lonely is a raw and honest collection of 6 previously released tunes, to go along with 6 brand spanking new tracks, not to mention the stories that go along with many of them. For those who have had the pleasure of catching one of Kennedy’s solo-acoustic gigs, you know that his humor and story-telling play as important of a role in that setting as the songs themselves do. Favorites from Kennedy’s catalog that are featured here, such as a stripped-down “Cincinnati” and ”The Last Waltz”, the latter being originally from his Dollar Theater Movie album, showcase Kennedy’s ability to captivate a crowd with sincerity and vulnerability as much as his trademark wit.
Given that Kennedy is a gifted story-teller, it’s no great surprise that he also writes a rather entertaining blog on his website. So, to send you on your way towards getting this album for yourself, here’s an excerpt from a post on his site’s blog where he describes the thought process behind this most unique of releases:
“I think it’s a pretty excellent one. 6 new songs, 6 old songs, and a bunch of the stories behind them. This is a pretty fair representation of what you’d get if you came to an acoustic show of mine, I think. And that’s why I wanted to do this– it doesn’t cost you anything to pick it up, and if you like what you hear, I’d really love to see you at a show. I know people are busy… I know times are tight… I know some people just don’t go out of their way to see new artists, or pick up new records. I’m trying to eliminate all of that for you. I don’t want you to have an excuse to NOT check out my stuff… I want this to be as easy as possible for you. If you like what you hear, come see me at a show, pick up a copy of my last studio record, An Audio Guide To Cross Country Travel, tell a friend where they can download the album….
And if you don’t dig what you hear, at least it didn’t cost you anything.
I think that’s fair.
So, at thirty, I give you… me.”
Kelly Dearmore is a freelance writer, mean pot of chili maker and opinionated music lover. To read more about what Kelly is listening to, visit him here on The Squawker weekly or daily on his personal music blog, The Gobblers Knob