Grady Kelneck,
Take My Hand
(independent, 2014)

Grady Kelneck is a Canadian songer-songwriter whose bio says he has been a musician almost all his life and has played in a bunch of bands. His indie rock group, the Parkas, won a best emerging artist award up in Canada.

Take My Hand sees him going in a folk direction. A fan-funded album, it is, for a man who claims Townes Van Zandt, John Prine and Jesse Winchester as major inspirations, a remarkably laid-back and gentle album; in many ways, it's the musical equivalent of an afternoon nap on the couch.

The arrangements are soft, never driving, never being impolite enough to call attention to themselves, and Kelneck mostly sings in a silky, upper-level caress of a croon. If you're after energy, this is not the album for you.

He's got some good lyrics here but the presentation is so low key that I found my focus drifting. As the album progressed, I found it harder and harder to call my attention back to it.

Don't get me wrong: Take My Hand isn't a bad album. But it isn't necessarily a good one, either. Mostly, it just is. If you aren't already a Grady Kelneck fan -- and evidently, there are enough of them to pay for this album -- I can't see this recording turning you into one.

[ visit the artist's website ]

music review by
Michael Scott Cain

5 July 2014

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