Influenced by legendary artists like Bonnie Raitt, Paul Simon and Randy Newman, San Francisco based Liz Kennedy puts the unique, inviting stamp of her sandpaper and honey tinged vocals on her latest release Speed Bump. Click on the video link to check out her lyric video for the title track.
The 14 dynamic folk/blues influenced pop/rock tracks were produced by renowned engineer and producer Joel Jaffe, who helmed Kennedy’s previous recordings, Clean White Shirt, A Good Peach and Nothing Like An Angel. Jaffe’s credits include Maria Muldaur, Lenny Williams and Magic Christian, and he’s also the pivotal guitarist on all the tracks.
Much like Raitt, Kennedy started her musical career late in life. She recorded her first songs in her late forties and began performing in her 50s. Her songs tell cleverly spun, deeply lived stories that might not have surfaced in her younger days.. “I’m proud of my age and though I’ve been writing music since I was 12, maybe I’m finally getting somewhere with all this at 62.”
Kennedy is a treasure, from her Janis Joplin/Melissa Etheridge like vocals, to the lyrical content to a culmination in songs that are instantly memorable. Speed Bump offers up one of the tastiest morsels of music to hit the airwaves in 2013.
“The songs and production on Speed Bump are what I have always envisioned as an artist,” says Kennedy. “I like the diversity of the songs and I guess that might come from being of a certain age. I’m old enough to have found some style and not to try to impress anyone. I’m deeply interested in making music and enjoy the surprise of what I can create. And you never know, maybe other lives will be nudged by my songs.”
Kennedy's songs remind me of classic rock favorites like Piano Man and Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me. From the smooth and relaxing Stowaway, to the Americana sound of Half Sad, Overnight Sensation and Save Yourself to the indie rock sounds of Arugula, Raised by the Orange Tree and Abduction, Kennedy gives us the gift of great music. She continues her musical odyssey with the jazzy sounds of The Thing Is and Hit Song and the bluesy sound of Take a Break and Maybe Just Maybe. Particular attention should be paid to the haunting melody and lyrics of How Was Your Life.
Speed Bump is a true work of art. It is an album for audiophiles, and provides some of the best crafted songs I have ever had the pleasure of listening. Kick off your shoes, grab a glass of wine, and enjoy the beauty of Liz Kennedy's Speed Bump.