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Where Did This Come From?
Love and War Vol. I (Odd Sock Records)
Dewey Kincade and the Navigators
By Kevin Gibson
Dewey is still doing it. Dewey Kincade has been cranking out music off and on hereabouts and yonder for years now, and every so often he seems to pop up with something interesting.
Now residing in New York (he's been back and forth), Kincade apparently is still mightily prolific – check out his MySpace page and you'll note that not only is Love and War Vol. IInearly done, but THREE other albums are in the can and waiting. He claims to have some 27 albums written and either recorded or waiting to be recorded. I mean, this guy turns out songs like it's a bodily function – eat your heart out, Ryan Adams.
The premise of the album is exactly what the title suggests: just plenty of songs about love and war, intermingled. "Dying by Degrees" gets it started from the point of view of the African-American as part of America's history, from the war civil for freedom on forward.
Topical, yes, but some of this stuff is just good rock 'n' roll. A song like "Referee" may be about love, but it's more specifically about drawing boundaries. Imagine John Lennon and Bob Dylan tossing off a two-minute pop song while in a New York City cab, and that gives you an idea about "Referee." (Yeah, that's ridiculously high praise, but take it in context. We're talking about approximating a sound with mere words here.)
"I Ain't Gonna Let You Down," on the other hand, is just a rockabilly rave-up that satisfies on its own level (if you're a Jerry Lee Lewis fan, at least). "I've got big shoes but I ain't no clown/Hey pretty mama, I ain't gonna let you down." Hey, that's just rock 'n'roll. Nothing special, but it works in its way in that it makes you want to crank the volume knob.
Of course, while some of these tunes hit the mark, there are some that don't quite get there; not that they are decidedly bad, but a few just seem to fill the holes. Perhaps that's simply a natural result of writing so much music – they can't all be top-shelf, and the album does bog down at times. For instance, "Simple Little Lie" relies on an arrangement that is probably a little too Black Crowes – again, not inherently a bad thing, but perhaps a bit too immediately mainstream.
In general, though, this is a solid effort that should appeal to fans of the aforementioned Adams, Tom Petty, etc. Kincade has always been a student of the songwriters, so you'll hear the Dylan and Neil Young influences as well. There I go again with the out-of-the-park praise. Eh, it will make for good press clippings. You're welcome, Dewey.
Find out more at navigatorsmusic.com.