Pete and Maura Kennedy, both East Coast natives, met in Austin, Texas, joined forces with Nanci Griffith’s Blue Moon Orchestra for a couple of years, and set out on a road that, for two decades, has led them not only west but all over the US and the UK many times. This year, they celebrate their twentieth anniversary both as a band and a married couple. Rather than indulge in a nostalgic look backward, they’ve taken Dylan’s dictum “don’t look back” to heart; writing and recording forty new songs.
2015 will see a Maura solo CD, a Pete solo CD, and the release of “West,” an instant classic Kennedys duo set that seamlessly weaves their influences over the last two decades; Buddy Holly style roots, the tuneful cadences of the Everly Brothers, and the ringing 12-string jangle of the early Byrds, interspersed with darker moments that recall British folk rock a la Fairport Convention.
Ultimately, Pete and Maura knit these disparate threads into a coat of many colors that sounds like a “best of The Kennedys,” but is in reality an all-new collection of songs. The road west is central to the American mythos; it’s the search for musical roots and the fulfillment of a personal American dream that takes shape in songs. Two decades on, The Kennedys are hitting a songwriting high point, and from that point they follow the well-worn American path West.
The Byrds The Beatles Bob Dylan Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris Nanci Griffith