FOLKFAN
Tuesday, August 26, 2003
 
Pete and Maura Kennedy at the Holleywould House Concert in Laurel Md. on August 24, 2003

Maura is talking to some fans as I enter. One is a young girl I saw at Falcon Ridge and see at many singer-songwriter concerts. Maura is telling them how she herself codes the Kennedy's web site, and how she is aware of coding to be found by search engines. How cool, discussing internet search engines before a house concert with hip young people and the performer. They know (but I don't until now) that there is another group called the Dead Kennedys.

Relatively new fans present this house concert. They have never attended one or hosted one before. How adventurous they are! About half the guests are at their first house concert, having been invited by the hosts who are either friends/neighbors/family members. Others like me made a reservation after seeing this concert on www.musi-cal.com or on the Kennedy's email list. I was on the waiting list but got in because of a cancellation. These 50 seats went fast. The hostess tells us the music playing before the concert is Pete Kennedy's Shearwater CD. I feel comfortable and welcome here.

The neighbor I sit beside is telling me how her house is like this one, but without the vaulted ceiling. I tell her that I saw the Kennedy's at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival; I so hope they do their new song Stand today. At the festival thousands of people stood and swayed to this song as the Kennedy's urged us to stand for what we believe. The song is not prescriptive - it is about finding out what you believe and standing up for it.

The Kennedy's set includes:
Life is Large
Rappahannock
Get It Right
Pick You Up
Nickeltown
Why Wyona Why
Steven's Green (written while living in Texas and touring Ireland, reflecting a lovely Dublin day of 50 degree drizzle in a park
Shearwater - title track from Pete's instrumental CD
River of Fallen Stars
Down at the Dharma CaféDay In and Day Out - Maura shares this is their first song, written within 24 hours of their first meeting
Anna and the Magic Gown - a British folk tale retold, to reflect a new heroine's perspective
Stand - the woman next to me nudges me. Is this the song? Yes I nod. I am in the back row and I can hardly stay put in my seat - I want to jump up like I did at Falcon Ridge - but no one else stands, and this isn't a festival

I came hoping to keep my festival memories alive. I wore my festival skirt (a $5 special from the discount bin that is so perfect) and my festival pin and earrings from LisaBeth Weber's jewelry booth. At the Kennedy's break, young people who camped at Falcon Ridge tell me about the song circles at the Nields camp, and the nearby Kennedy's camp. And how after 2pm, the main performers left and the circles were open for all singers - even up at the Big Orange Tarp where Scott Moore was M.C. They have some great Festival pictures of the Kennedys which they show Pete.

I don't buy the "How to Make Your Own Music Video" book the Kennedy wrote, even after Maura tells us the Nicheltown is on the included CD. However, I do tell Pete and Maura how cool I think it is that they are doing this.

The Kennedy's brought their own sound system. There are mikes for the voices, voices only I think. The dualing guitars are there and beautiful, but I can hear Maura voice strong and clear - I have never heard the vocals this well. I don't hear the folk rock sound of their videos and their CD tracks. This sound is so clear and beautiful, the music so lyrical, this is a quieter Kennedys experience.

I have never seen the Kennedy's at a house concert before. I missed them at the Panzers, and at all the local house concerts venues. I've seem them elsewhere and often. But this house concert experience is so special and the reason I particularly wanted to come. Thanks to the Holleywould hosts for a providing warm and lovely space for exquisite music.

I have been watching and listening to the Kennedy's music videos as I write. Why had I never checked out their web site better before? I enjoy all the videos. I really rock watching and hearing Nickeltown with the flashy Vegas colors. And "The Kennedy's Take Falcon Ridge" just makes my heart pound with fond memories of being their of seeing them there, with their friends the Nields and so many others. More videos please, more, more!

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