The Kenn Morr Band: World Class Music From a Town You Haven’t Heard Of The Kenn Morr Band is on a roll in 2014, pleased to be touring in support of its latest release, the double-disc set “Afterimage.” Recorded live at Sandy Brook Studios in Colebrook, CT, it’s a project that was in the works for some time, featuring fresh interpretations of material from eight previous releases. Kenn and his band revisited the songs to capture the group as it sounds live, with crisp studio sound and minimal overdubs.
The result is an organic collection of lush three-part vocal harmonies and sparkling acoustic instruments—real musicians playing soulful music in real time. (It’s the kind of recording you may have thought nobody makes any more.)
Growing up on Long Island, Kenn was inspired by such lyric and melody-minded acts as Gordon Lightfoot, Simon and Garfunkel, Graham Nash, and Jackson Browne. Rex Fowler of Aztec Two-Step became his friend and supporter. When a college baseball scholarship didn’t work out, he turned—appropriately—to Communications, a field for which he is well-suited. He’s got a radio announcer’s rich baritone and the kind of humor and charisma that enthralls audiences of all sizes, from intimate coffeehouses to the stages of venues as demanding as the famed Bitter End in New York City and the International Festival of Arts and Ideas on the New Haven Green.
Kenn trusts the universe to bring him what he needs: parking spots, dry weather, you name it. He left Long Island and found in Connecticut a home, new friends, and—eventually--the band that brings his music to life. He calls it his best band ever. First up was master percussionist Dr. Bob Gaspar, known for making one drum sound like four. Then the universe sent violin virtuoso and multi-instrumentalist Tom Hagymasi. (Kenn calls him “an animal.”) The final piece in the puzzle was melodic bassist “Magic” Pat Ryan, a graduate of the Berklee College of Music. Known for its close three-part vocal harmonies and fiery instrumental interplay, the group has been together for several years, becoming fast favorites on the outdoor festival scene. They’ve paid dues of every kind and played gigs of every stripe, along the way sharing the stage with artists like John Sebastian, Al Kooper, Eric Burdon, and John Wesley Harding.
With airplay across the country and in Europe (where KMB music gets played in England, Italy, Spain, Belgium, and the Netherlands, among other countries), “Afterimage” is set to bring the Kenn Morr sound to many new listeners.