Release Date: May 18, 2018 Label: The Kennedys, L.L.C. Genre: Folk-Rock, Americana Formats: CD, Digital Download
Distribution: Burnside Distribution
About The Artists And The Album
At well over a million miles of roadwork, including two stints as members of Nanci Griffith’s Blue Moon Orchestra, Pete and Maura Kennedy show no signs of slowing down either on tour or in the creative realm.
Originally based in Austin, Texas, they spent a few years in the Washington DC area before moving to the East Village in New York City, where they have been based for most of the last two decades. The Kennedys are known nationwide as the hosts of the late lamented Dharma Café program on Sirius Satellite Radio, and on Broadway, they are regular cast members of Theatre Within's annual tribute to John Lennon — working in that capacity with Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Jackson Browne, Cyndi Lauper and a host of others.
Life on the road and time spent in the creative ecosystem of the Village have informed their songwriting over the course of 14 duo albums and half a dozen side projects, and Safe Until Tomorrow is true to that tradition. What sets the album apart is the inclusion of several anthemic, rocking songs of social consciousness that convey a strong message best summed up in one of the song titles: “Be Silent No More.” The Kennedys' music has been described as uplifting, empowering and encouraging. In these turbulent times, they rise to the occasion with Safe Until Tomorrow.
1) Safe Until Tomorrow (4:18): An impassioned call to support caregivers, the self-sacrificing ones who put aside their own lives to help others. For baby boomers who’ve reached the age when their parents need the kind of help that they once gave their children, this song resonates strongly.
2) Umbrella (3:10): Maura woke up one morning after dreaming of a quarter spinning. She soon realized that 25 years to the day had elapsed since she and Pete met, and she observed the anniversary by penning this jangle-pop instant classic.
3) Don’t Talk to Strangers (4:39): When Maura was a toddler, she got separated from her family on the streets of Detroit. She discovered that her only salvation would be to ignore her mom’s well-intentioned advice. Maura extends her personal story into a larger narrative.
4) Be Silent No More (3:16): With lyrics penned by poet B. D. Love, and a gospel setting created by Maura, this song started as a civil rights anthem. Since it was written, with the groundswell of the Me Too and Never Again movements, its resonance has expanded day by day.
5) Is Anybody Listening? (3:56): In straight-up rocking four-four, and featuring a boisterous background chorus recorded live, this song is a call to raise your voice, and that might well be the original message of rock and roll.
6) Union (3:51): Written by brilliant UK songstress Andrea Glass, the gorgeous melody of this lush ballad conceals the deeper meaning that love is more than hearts and flowers; it can also be a profound moment of giving and mutual trust.
7) Pistol Island (3:11): On a hike in the woods of New Hampshie, Maura found this island and created a mystical setting where every bit of Nature symbolizes something timeless. Pete provides the gauzy guitar harmonics and the electric sitar.
8) Sing the Chorus (4:42): Following the album’s theme of encouragement in the true sense of “giving courage,” Maura issues a clarion call to sing out loud and strong. Background chorus recorded live by 500 enthusiastic North Carolina high school students!
9) Cayenne in my Coffee (3:05): In a café in Oxford, England, Maura was reminded that her habit of adding hot pepper to coffee was difficult to follow outside of Texas — unless she remembered to pack her own. A classic Texas two-step spiced up with twangy Telecaster licks from Pete.
10) Dancing on the Moon (3:24): Pete and Maura prove that a plea for the environment can be a funky Memphis-style groove — and yes, you’ll find yourself dancing!
11) Midnight Train to Georgia (4:50): A heartfelt homage to the timeless Gladys Knight arrangement of Jim Weatherly’s classic, with Maura’s loving recreation of those great Pips harmonies. Pete actually played this song with Gladys on a gig back in the day, as he will relate in his forthcoming memoir.