Kevin Durr – Songbird
Some feel the songwriting craft is a dying art form in music as Power Pop and Rap dominate the airwaves with music that is for the most part – well not very real. But regardless of how you feel about Pop, or even Rap strong musicianship has remained strong and resultant over the years primarily in Jazz, Funk and R&B. However I must admit there is a resurgence of this type of music in bands like Dave Matthews Band, O.A.R., Rusted Root and Passenger. The music of Kevin Durr reminds me of the aforementioned artists and bands.
As a result its subsequent movements cannot be denied its place in our world. So I’m willing to give the latest 11 Track CD by Kevin Durr a fair shake. Clearly one the more inspiring musical stories stemming from Chicago. I get the impression Durr has been making a name for himself around the area with his soulful sound and powerful songwriting for quite some time. I mean to write an album “Songbird” it takes time, and I don’t mean the time it takes to record it either. It takes time to develop yourself as a composer/songwriter – and then get to a place where you can present it to the world. The cover art renders a rather bland first impression but this album is a true to form return of Acoustic based folk wrapped within a Sadcore vibe that flows extremely well track to track. It’s passionate, intricate music but goes beyond decent chops mind you. You can tell 2 minutes into the title track via the seamless timing, amazing playing, and well honed movement you might be in for something truly special here. Track 2 “In My Dreams” is seamlessly syncopated blend of all musicians in question especially as a cohesive whole. Much of “Songbird” is testament to who Durr is as a person really. It’s also obvious to me that there’s probably a growing cult fan-base totally in love with this guy right now. In fact I will admit I love and respect everything he sings and represents – casual observations about love and live. Despite this he also shares a few “sad but true moments” on “The Fall and “The Night is Long.” These last 2 tracks capture the Sadcore element I spoke of earlier. Regardless of this, there’s a heavy dose of hope and “keep the chin up” throughput. Cover art is a bit amateurish and the mix, although adequate is not to the level of professional recordings within the genera. “Home” is in the vein of the first 2 tracks and” Black Magic” hits hard with a rocking blues feel. Track 11 comes full circle with “Courage” which features an impressive vocal performance by Abigail Tieck.
Building familiarity within this style one walks away feeling like they listened to something a little truer than accustomed. If you’re a new or old folk-rocker, then odds are you will love with Durr. If you not familiar with this style of music will feel yourself become quickly acclimatized to it. It’s safe to say much of today’s music is made up entirely of these yawning melodies, repetitive themes, and superficial vocals. Some of these intangibles reflect the shallow artists themselves. Guys like Kevin Durr are a step back in the right direction because it’s starts with a powerful song and a sincere voice delivering it to us.