Kevin Kane,
American Songs
(independent, 2006)

Kevin Kane shows a love for the music he plays -- mostly traditional, as the title implies -- and he plays it with enthusiasm.

The opening song, "Little Sadie," bounces along with good humor and a happy tone that creates a nice bit of tension by contrasting with the lyrics. It's a nice job, and it's a shame that the tunes that follow it don't live up to it. "Morphine Makes It Hard," for example, is too self-pitying to create the mood Kane wants, and in "This Little Light of Mine," the chorus drowns out his voice in the third and fourth lines of each verse.

Kane deserves credit for unusual touches -- a trumpet here and there, and a kid's chorus on some songs -- but to my mind, the album always remains pleasant without ever becoming essential.

by Michael Scott Cain
14 July 2007

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