Monday, March 16, 2009

Independent Spotlight – Ian Kenny

The Dude:

Ian Kenny and I became fast friends on Broadjam when I joined. We met via the Broadjam 6 pack competition and a wonderful common friend of ours, Penny Towers Wilber (who I will write about soon.) I visited Ian’s website outside Broadjam and read stories about his connection with a few rock and roll celebs that I knew of, one of whom was Michael Schenker of UFO and MSG fame. Then I settled in for a listen of Ian’s guitar skills on his pages, in and out of the Broadjam mechanism.

Ian reminds me of a cross between Edgar Froese from Tangerine Dream’s Thief soundtrack album on the song “Confrontation”, to the feel of David Gilmour on “Comfortably Numb” soaring lead guitar parts from Pink Floyd’s release The Wall.

Ian has been a professional musician since the age of 15, in the UK. He was signed to Carlin Publishers at the young age of 20 and has performed with a wide variety of musicians throughout the US, UK, Canada and Europe. Ian has also composed three wonderful meditation CDs available through his site outside of Broadjam at Ian Kenny Music. Since I’ve known Ian, he’s transitioned from an older recording rig to a more solid and stable computer environment, which has enhanced the sound of his instrumentation tremendously. There’s a lot to be said for computer recording and the difference in the mix you get between older tape/digital systems and more maintainable functionality of a computer recording system setup or what is termed as a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) in the music industry. That's a topic for another article at another time. Right now, its time to visit this guitar virtuoso's music and give it a listen.

The Music

As I glide through his collections on both sites, some songs stand out more than others as what I call “feeling” pieces. Emotions and feeling so deep, that you know Ian is just letting his playing flow from a place of peace inside. The pieces I’m talking about are covered in the reviews of his songs below.

The first track I will review is the newest in Ian’s collection available on Broadjam through this link and titled “RaveN”.

Along the lines of a techno trance-dancing tune, the beat to this song pumps. Much like a heartbeat, while it draws a picture that is to be played out by various instrumentation. I really like this song. Its taking Ian in a different direction than some of his earlier pieces and I like the direction he’s going here. Almost reminds me of a certain time period when Joe Satriani was rambling along with very dance mixes. Just something cool sounding about it and has become a new favorite of mine in Ian’s collection.

The second song is "Mr. Marvin’s Shuffle"

Here is a song that starts out with a sultry swinging sax followed by a Tangerine-Dream-Gilmore-ish melody on lead guitar. This is another one of my favorites from Ian. I just like the way he lays down the melody on this. There’s some emotion coming out of that guitar, along the lines of Gary Moore playing the Blues.

The third song is "I Will Always Walk With You"

This features a whole other part of Ian; his voice. When I came upon this one, I didn’t know what to think at first. So far I had only been privy to Ian’s guitar playing, but now he was singing. Ian has a very good voice and sings this song with a lot of soul. I had to listen to it a second time because I was stunned that he was singing. I really like the lyrics to this song. It’s a song about looking deep inside of you for your support and answers. I’m a sucker for songs with deep meaning lyrics that talk about development of “who we are”. So, bravo Ian, this an excellent tune, and might I mention a top 10 tune on Broadjam in the past.

The fourth and final song I’ll cover here is "Crystal Clear"

Again, this is Ian at his finest. A beautiful clean guitar with a wonderful feeling lead guitar part over the top of it. This is also one of his newer songs. I have listened to this a number of times since he sent it to me. It’s very relaxing and takes you away.

Lastly, I’ll mention that Ian has several "meditation/chill” style songs on his website that you may go listen to full version of here: Ian Kenny Music

I really like "Spirit Dance" and "The Magical Path". Both songs are relaxing and inspiring in their own way.

Ian my friend, you are a gift to us with you playing, your laughter and your friendship. Keep on playing on and keep on writing from the heart.