Dave McKenney just released his newest CD entitled Back in Time, packed with 12 original songs. Dave wrote or co-wrote each song and lined up an all-star group of musicians to record the album.
The title song, “Back in Time,” is a sweet ballad reminiscent of the “old days with Grandpa.” When Dave sings about “hot biscuits and a party line,” I would swear that he knew my grandparents in Mississippi! Emily Randle showcases her skills with a great violin solo on this one. She also is featured in “No Daily Grind,” which is a superb getaway song in a fun tempo. “Taking our pace at ¾ time” is a wonderful musical analogy way of looking at life.
Dave kicks up the fun in a couple of songs; “Let Me Drink This Beer First” is a toe-tapping, two-stepping tune that could be right at home in a Texas country dance hall. Emily helps again with violin in this one. “Finally Home” has a happy country vibe with the legendary Doyle Grisham showing off his pedal steel prowess. The lyrics will resonate with those of us who love the beach.
Doyle also lends his talent in “Long View Off a Short Pier” and this is an extra-special song. John Cunningham, author of the tropical adventure series starring Buck Reilly, wrote the lyrics and collaborated with Dave on this one. John’s sixth Buck Reilly novel will be published soon and this song, along with Dave himself, are featured. John also worked with Dave on another cut – “Blues For Brown.” We once again hear Emily’s violin in this thoughtful ballad and the lyrics draw us in to reaching “the coast.”
Brad Brewer’s saxophone stylings are featured on a couple of songs. “Lazy Summer Sunday” is a wonderfully jazzy slow-dancing song. Many of the chord progressions and harmonies remind me of my favorite jazz fellow, Michael Franks. Saxophone is also prominent in “The Bike Ride.” Dave conjures up the laid back experience of riding a bicycle around the streets of Key West and mirrors our love for that special town.
The sweet resonance of Heather Vidal’s voice is captured in her solo on “Bottles of Wine” and the lyrics make us realize how hard it must be for musicians to leave their families to go on the road. Heather and Erica Wright help provide vocal harmony on much of this CD. Gary Green has harmonica licks on several songs, including a very nice solo in “Son of a Beach.” This song will speak to all of us feel the call of the ocean. Listen to a quick snippet and see if this doesn’t become one of your new favorites:
“Fly to Mexico” is another great example of escaping life’s hum drum and fleeing south. And “Memories” reminds us to not forget to have some fun along with making special memories. Look for Dave McKenney’s new CD at the annual Parrot Head convention in Key West in just a few weeks where many of us will be making our own special memories. The perfect time and place to pick up a copy for yourself!