Guy You Cheer for
Thanks for checking me out. I have left Louisiana for the east village (NYC) and you can find me wandering aimlessly @ Thompkins Square; hangin' tough with bow-legged Lou and all my new NY homies. Here is a nice review written by an old friend. It was late last century, and I just moved 1300 miles from Baton Rouge, Louisiana into Hallett Hall at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The dorm was the Animal House of the residence halls with it's own collection of Blutos, Otters, Flounders, and of course the lowest GPA on campus; which we were actually kinda proud of and did our best to further bring down. During this odyssey of double secret probation, I met Kenny Cambre, a fellow Louisiana expatriate who had also moved to Colorado, pretty much, just to go. During freshman year, Kenny introduced me to a wide variety of music ranging from Motown to the Grateful Dead (and dare I forget his beloved AC/DC). It would actually be another year though, before Kenny even bought his first guitar, at least that I knew of. After that, we would intermittently bump into each other until I left Boulder in 1992. As a player myself, we would talk guitar, new CDs and concerts then we wouldn't see each other again for another six months to a year at a time. It wasn't until we bumped into each other again 13 years later at Tipitina's in pre-Katrina New Orleans last year, that he actually mentioned he was writing songs and sometimes recording with friends up north. Listening to the CD, "The Guy You Cheer For," you will realize Kenny has internalized all kinds of music. It also contains a broad collection of highly relatable life experiences, both hopeful and heartbreaking that will resonate with even the most cynical listener. In this commercial world, categorization and comparison of an artist is inevitable. Here are some more conventional references to hang your hats on. The CD instinctively fuses bluegrass, swamp-pop and blues. After all, it is as much about sales as it is about expression. Kenny simultaneously brings across his own sound and tips his hat to both classic and contemporary artists such as Hank Williams, John Prine, the Grateful Dead, Lucinda Williams, Slaid Cleaves, Lou Reed, Steve Earle, and Neil Young. The result is a real album-oriented musical experience that you do not want to end. So thank goodness for the repeat function on the CD player. The band, comprised of Bruce Bell, Mike Brown, Dave Cieri, Aaron Cutler, Jason Fiorita, Putnam Murdock, Brian Ravitsky, make deft use of the instruments underutilized in music like the, dobro, Wurlitzer, and mandolin. Then when you add the stunning accompanying vocals of Jessica Goodkin, you have pure auditory ambrosia. My favorites include "I Don't Even Wanna Go," "Ode to Callan Baruch" and "Trouble in Mind." Additionally, Kenny brings such freshness to standards like George and Ira Gershwin's "Crush on you" and Elton John's "Amoreena," a listener would think composers wrote these tracks just for Kenny. In the years to come, Kenny Cambre will become one of those artists whose CDs you will buy on general principle, and that's more than just "fat to chew." J -Anand Ramachandran, Entertainment Journalist Anand covered entertainment for papers in the New York Times Regional Newspaper chain and the University Media group. He currently writes about film for MovieHabit.com and writes freelance on a variety of subjects.