Kerry Kearney

Kerry Kearney
Ghosts of the PsycheDelta

DWAZ Entertainment

By Lady K
October 2012

Way-groovy – psychedelta, indeed!!!!! Slide guitar, playing the blues, with mind-expanding funk – nothing not to love here. Especially gotta love it when Kerry Kearney is doing this psychedelic update to tunes from the likes of Robert Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy, Lennon and McCartney, Elmore James, Arthur Crudup, and Bob Dylan – doing it well, and doing it with respect.

Kerry Kearney (writer, vocals and guitars) isn’t performing all this yummy-scary stuff on his own. His accomplices on “Ghosts” are: Frank Celenza (bass); Mario Staiano (drums); Ken the Rocket Korb (harmonica, penny whistle); David Bennett Cohen (keyboard); Nydia Liberty Mata (percussion); and Elizabeth Seton (vocals).

The only original tune on the album turned out to be Lady K’s favorite. “Mississippi River Stomp” is a whole lotta slide guitar (screaming, mind-expanding drug-laden guitar). It’s a totally rockin’ up-tempo number with some funky, honky-tonk keyboard back-up. This is way fun!!!!

OMG, Kearney’s rocking-sliding versions of Robert Johnson’s “Stop Breaking Down” and “Last Fair Deal Gone Down” are amazing. Lady K keeps thinking about pictures of Robert Johnson and that wondrous smile of his; bet he’s smiling that smile in guitar heaven, listening to Kearney’s psyched-up versions of his tunes, accompanied by more great keyboard work.

“Louise, Louise Blues” (Broonzy) is a luscious blend of harp, keyboard and guitar; it’s old-timey, bluesy, and a tad country-sounding (but no twang, which made Lady K happy). “One After 909” (Lennon, McCartney) is a rocking delight of squealing, screaming guitars with plenty of keyboard. Definitely not a lot of Beatles’ sound to be found here (and Lady K loves the Beatles too). I sorta picture Lennon, reaching out and tapping Sir Paul on the shoulder, telling him to check out this Kearney chap . . .

Lady K’s favorite cover is Elmore James’ “Baby Set a Date.” Guitar-a-plenty - non-sliding, electric guitar opens this tune. In addition to his differing guitar-style talents, Kerry Kearney also seems to have many singing voices; there’s a totally different sound, switching from Robert Johnson’s to Elmore James’ tunes.

There are additional musicians on Dylan’s “Girl from the North Country,” including Maria Fairchild (clawhammer banjo, vocals), Dana Tillinghas (vocals), Sly Geralds (bass), and Chris Cangeleri (shaker). The tune starts off softly, progressing into a killer number. All of the tracks on the Ghosts CD have a new sound because they are psyched-up, including “Mean Old Frisco” (Crudup). It’s a bit more roots blues, a bit less ‘psyche’ than the others (but not much less – still mind-bending). Ghosts of the Psychedelta is an album that’ll put a smile on your face and some Delta-psyche in your soul.

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