KENNY & AMANDA SMITH

kenny-and-amanda-smithKENNY & AMANDA SMITH
UNBOUND

Farm Boy Records
No Number

Since their first project in 2001, Kenny and Amanda Smith have become one of bluegrass music’s most endearing and solid duos. Amanda (vocals) and Kenny (guitar, vocals) are joined on this project by Jacob Burleson (mandolin), Kyle Perkins (bass), Justin Jenkins (banjo), and Wayne Winkle (harmony vocals). This is the third release on their own Farm Boy label and the production quality is superb. The song selection and arrangements focus mostly on Amanda’s beautiful and soulful vocals, with Kenny and the others providing some wonderful harmony. Kenny does sing lead on “Preaching My Own Funeral” and “Tea Party.”

Selections include “You Know That I Would,” “I Don’t Want To Fall,” Gordon Lightfoot’s “Wherefore And Why,” “Reaching Out” from Elli Rowe, and Tim Stafford’s “There Was A Time.” Highlights are the beautiful take on Ronnie Bowman’s “Nightbird” and the title-cut “Unbound” from Dennis Duff about gaining freedom. “Something Missing” is about being in London, seeing the sites, meeting The Queen, but being alone. The project is enhanced by a nice interplay between Burleson’s mandolin and Jenkins’ banjo, while Kenny’s guitar rhythm holds it steady with Perkins’ bass, while letting Kenny jump out with the lead runs he’s so known for. This is a great project for this very talented couple, both having received IBMA nominations in 2016 for female vocalist and guitar player respectfully. A very enjoyable endeavor. (www.kenny-amandasmith.com)BF

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