The title of Kerry Kearney’s recent album, Ghosts of the Psychedelta, captures the new-old, hippie-blues, down-home groove that many Long Islanders have come to expect from the artist. The album starts by plunging into the uptempo, appropriately named “Mississippi River Stomp,” and then carries the listener through all the moods of the genre. Kearney is known best for his blues sensibilities, which are showcased in tracks like the moody and swampy “Mean Old Frisco”. Not to be boxed in, though, he shows his folk and Celtic roots in “Girl From the North Country,” and brings in a dose of straight Southern Rock with songs like “Baby Set a Date”. Tying it all together is Kearney’s unforgettable slide playing and the tight musicianship of the band.
The two concerns with any great live artist recording a studio artist are that you’ll lose the energy from the stage, or that it will sound too live, and not translate well in the studio. This album falls victim to neither pitfall. Choices like opening with Kerry’s own “Mississippi River Stomp” bring the energy up right away, and there is no substitute for the in-the-pocket groove that happens only when a band has played together for years. Rather than sounding flat or canned, the album is mixed and recorded in a way that gets out of the way and lets the listener feel like she may as well be in a tavern tapping her foot to a live performance.
If you want to make the call for yourself, check out a show and grab the CD to listen to on the ride home. Kerry Kearney regularly tours around the Long Island and tri state area, and the next show is this Saturday the 29th – the “Kerry Ferry” Blues & Brews Cruise in Port Jefferson harbor. If you miss that one, check out the band on dry land at Napper Tandy’s in Miller Place on October 12th. Details, tickets and tunes are available at kerrykearneyofficial.com.