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Review: 'KENNEDY, BAP'
'Reckless Heart'   

-  Label: 'At The Helm Records'
-  Genre: 'Alt/Country' -  Release Date: '18th November 2016'

Our Rating:
This is the ninth and, sadly, the last album from this Belfast-born artist who died of pancreatic cancer less than three weeks before its release.

Bap Kennedy flirted with punk before fronting the R'n'B influenced rock band Energy Orchard. When this band imploded in the late 1990s he began a rewarding, though not especially financially lucrative, solo career which led to him crossing paths with such luminaries as Van Morrison, Steve Earle, Shane MacGowan and Mark Knopfler.

On Reckless Heart, Kennedy's Celtic connections shine through although there is an even stronger bias towards honky tonk tinged Americana. "No need to get fancy, stay on that country beat" is his no-nonsense advice on Honky Tonk Baby

The clap-along opener Nothing Can Stand In The Way of Love is typical of the good humoured, carefree nature of ten songs which certainly give no indication that he saw the end coming so quickly.

Rather, they are the honest musings of a man who was both romantic and realistic. He was aware of the power of love but also, as he observed in the beautifully wistful The Universe And Me, conscious of the fact we are just as likely to be lonely satellites in the "cosmic sea".

The lyrics to the final track, It's Not Me It's You, strike a particularly poignant note in the light of his passing: "We come into this world alone, Screaming and kicking, Then we don't want to go, But it's a return ticket".

RIP Martin 'Bap' Kennedy (17th June 1962 - 1st November 2016)

Bap Kennedy's website
  author: Martin Raybould

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KENNEDY, BAP - Reckless Heart