August 10, 2017
Drew Kennedy To Release ‘At Home In The Big Lonesome’
Singer, songwriter and storyteller’s eighth album set for November 3
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — August 10, 2017 — Drew Kennedy regularly finds himself at the same intersection, contemplating the selfishness of being a musician while wanting to remain a selfless father and husband. He’s often doing what he loves while who he loves most is 1,000 miles away. It’s that tension – the struggle between being the kind of man he wants to be and being the kind of artist he has to be – that keeps him up at night. At Home In The Big Lonesome, set to release on November 3, finds Kennedy in familiar territory, although he ventures into his most complex musical territory to date.
“A lot of artists say art comes from conflict – they talk about relationships ending or trying to overcome serious habits,” Kennedy says. “Well, my conflict is this: how do I be so self-centered while being as selfless as I can?”
There is no doubt his family’s influence is weaved into the fabric of At Home In The Big Lonesome, along with that same conflict. In the middle of the first day of recording in Nashville, Kennedy’s wife Holly went into labor with their second child at just seven months pregnant. He made it home to help welcome his son into the world, but complications arose that required a 37-day stay in a Level IV NICU. Joy over Oliver’s progress bumped up against fears about feeling disconnected as other musicians laid the foundation for the album without him, and then there was shame over worrying about the record at all.
Kennedy says the songs felt different after that — as if they too took on a new life of their own. Produced by Dave Brainard, the lush piano pop, layers of strings, and percussion nod more to The Wrecking Crew than any Texas playboys. The exhilaration and possibility of young love is punctuated by toe-tapping keys and crisp cymbal crashes on “24 Hours in New York City,” while moody “Cream and Sugar” and driving “Jackson” are both straight-ahead pop smashes. Familiar though, is Kennedy’s mastery of evoking sharp images and strong emotions in his songs. Old men, devoted lovers and nostalgic loners are all characters he’s cast to tell the album’s stories. West Texas skylines and the people who dot them are captured in “Open Road” and Walt Wilkins’ “Walnut Street” marks Kennedy’s first-ever inclusion of a cover on one of his albums.
“This is the story of what life is like for those of us somewhere in the middle of it all,” Kennedy says. “It’s about the journey to get to this point, and the giant question mark-shaped path we’re following onward from here. Of how even the best-laid plans for your next big step have to so often be altered because life calls.”