Album Review: Kenny Brothers Band – A Walk in the Woods
Straight out of New England forest trails, the Kenny Brothers Band brings us a debut album that weaves between trees, circles past the no trespassing sign onto the path less traveled and eventually doubles back home to sing about the adventure.
The first track, “A Walk in the Woods”, is a soft, arpeggiated entrance into what quickly becomes a jolly hike along a shady trail, picking up speed and texture as it trots along. It’s a song with sure footsteps and discerning eye. Classic, warm harmony is peppered throughout the verse and choruses while lyrics use nature imagery to slip between the literal and figurative – there’s something undeniably cathartic about the image of cutting down your worries with an ax, as the Kenny Brother’s Band sings.
A highlight track is “Salt Lake City” – the boys slow this one down, with a soft acoustic guitar setting the tone and pace. Strategically placed crescendos rise to satisfying vistas as wide as the Utah desert and the listener is able to take in the wild west surroundings – a quick sip of cards, pistols and dancing ladies. “Pick Me Up”, a slow burner, tosses in some psychedelic vibes while “Fold” comes across as a soft letter sent home to someone you love and features a vocal arrangement that exudes a wistfulness inherent to any journey worth taking.
Throughout the album, Kenny Brothers Band maintain a groundedness, while also building an energy that makes you want to get off your couch and go see them play live at your favorite bar. Fans of The Band and the Grateful Dead will find strong influences present on A Walk In The Woods, as it’s an album that doesn’t hesitate to take roots music and slather on unapologetic layers of groove. It’s feel good music, stuff you can listen to on a long car ride or out dancing with friends. Thematically, the songs circle around the polarized (or complimentary) ideas of travel and home in the midst of a culture that often makes authentic belonging a challenge. These guys are searching, taking in the landscape and singing about it along the way.