CD review – Zonder Kennedy and the Scoville Junkies
Zonder Kennedy’s guitar playing is full of grit, fire and authenticity. The self-titled debut release from Kennedy and his power trio The Scoville Junkies is a CD you must have as a road trip soundtrack if you’re headed west. You can feel the mesquite and dust blowing as you hear these songs hewn from a life on the road. Kennedy has been a long time sideman who backed John Campbell and Doyle Bramhall Sr. in Texas for years and now calls NYC his home. After the prodding of his wife and biggest supporter, who co wrote the quirky pop song “Blue Garden” for the album, Kennedy finally put out a CD of his own.
The eleven tracks are a fresh blend of delta blues, boogie rock, and as the song says, “$20,000 Worth of Twan,” delivered with spice and zeal. Kennedy rips on his national guitar on the classics “Shake your Money Maker” and “Death Letter” like a man possessed, and the trio turns Dylan’s “Highway 61” into a backdrop for a chase scene from a Quentin Tarantino film. Tom Waits’ “Hold On” is turned into a lilting Tex-Mex cantina lullaby with the sweet addition of concertina to the mix, while the ode to John Campbell, “Dr. Midnight,” is a psychobilly thrill ride.
It took Kennedy over 45 years to finally put out his own album. Why he waited this long is a mystery after hearing how this veteran guitar man throws it down. Let’s hope the next one is coming sooner.
Rick J Bowen
Originally published byInnocent Words Aug 2012