Go Jane Go,
Go Jane Go
(Dead Reckoning, 2013)

Kieran Kane is the king of the spontaneous album. Give him a few new songs, a couple of like-minded musicians and a couple of days, and he'll emerge with a new album. And it'll be a fine one, too. He has always sounded as if he and his buddies were making music over a couple of pitchers of beer on his back porch; he's informal, laid-back and loves to just turn the recorders on while the musicians all play sat the same time, looking at each other and feeding off each other. He uses few, if any, overdubs, so that what you hear is what the musicians played at that moment. There's an immediacy and a down-home flavor to his records, and it has been there since he was having a string of top-10 hits as half the O'Kanes, the band he and singer-songwriter Jamie O'Hara led back in the '80s.

He, Canadian singer-songwriter David Francey and Kane's son, Lucas, got together to tour Australia together and had so much fun that, at the end of the tour, they settled into a cabin in Terip Terip, Australia, for a few days and cut this album of 13 stripped-to-the-bones, down-home Americana songs as Go Jane Go -- the name of the band, the album and one of the songs on the CD.

The songs are squarely in the Americana-folk tradition. The CD opens with Kane's "Somewhere Beyond the Roses," a banjo-driven medium tempo tune with a spiritual overtone that manages to swing incredibly, if softly, as it gives out a spiritual message. This is followed by a Francey number that is more in the country vein, with a sort of Gary Burr satirical slant as it lists all of things the singer can accomplish now that he's not thinking of his absent woman: he can stack paper files, clean up the paper from the yard, meet the mailman at the box ... the song is a list of all the ways he can kill time while he suffers.

We have love songs, light-hearted lost love songs, a little traditional folk and even some Chicago blues -- all of it beautifully done. Kieran Kane, David Francey and Lucas Kane have made a wonderful album, one that will spend a lot of time in your player and one that you'll be thinking about when you're not listening to it.

music review by
Michael Scott Cain

25 May 2013

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