at Clove Cafe, High Falls, NY
Friday, August 17th, 2001
Story by Kevin Robinson
Photos by Ellie Apuzzo
we're good parents, one of the things we're supposed to do is know how and
when to push our offspring out of the nest, pass the torch so to speak. One of
the many reasons we always enjoy seeing Hudson Valley singer/songwriter,
perform, is watching him be a good parent, watching him pass the torch.
All of his children, and his wife Nancy, have shared the stage with him at one
time or another, and it's always a moving experience. But his twin daughters,
Samantha and Kimberly, have taken a special interest in public performance, as
evidenced by the growing maturity and polish they display onstage. What is
equally obvious, is the fact that these two young women have been spending time
in the woodshed...a musicians' colloquialism which refers to rehearsal time.
They're both busy high school students, excel in athletics, and are most
assuredly being pursued by young men their age, but they are clearly finding the
time to learn an extensive play list and develop a fun/personable stage
We first saw Kimberly and Samantha sing with their dad when they were
probably fourteen years old. Their potential was obvious for all to see; and
even then, their vocal harmonies were engaging. Now, if I recall correctly,
they're pushing seventeen, and to say that they're coming into their own onstage
would be an understatement. We caught up with the Kennedy clan recently at the
Clove Cafe in High Falls, and their show was simply delightful. Bobby Kennedy,
long known for an extensive play list of soft rock classics and creative
originals, has not only extended his repertoire, but has deliberately rearranged
most, if not all, of it to better showcase his daughters' talents. I've come to
know a fair number of musicians through the years, and I think it's fair to say
that many of them get little edgy about being up-staged. Bobby Kennedy
positively beams. And if watching the three of them sing "Teach Your Children
Well," doesn't make you smile inside and out, you've got ice in your veins.
We've seen Kennedy add bass and percussion to the act on several occasions,
but it just never quite worked. Sometimes the bass players weren't all that
familiar with the material, and often the percussionists apparently thought they
were playing with a rock band rather than an acoustic act, but whatever, it
usually diminished rather than enhanced the Kennedy's performance. On this
night, however, Dan Reiter provided an evening filled with interesting and
appropriate bass lines, and we hope to see more of this guy in the future.
One of the other interesting evolutionary components of Bobby Kennedy &
Sibling Revelry is to hear what they've done with some of the originals from
their debut CD, "Late Bloomer." (Available at:
) Traditionally, a
band's CD is recorded in something of a hothouse environment. That is, you have
control of everything in the recording studio, and can redo the various tracks
as necessary in order to make the final product as good as possible. We've
enjoyed listening to "Late Bloomer," and have several favorite tracks, but as
Samantha and Kimberly get more comfortable, as teenage insecurities give way to
confidence and playfulness onstage, many of Kennedy's originals have taken on a
richness that is irresistible. The other night at the Clove Cafe, when they
finished playing "Moonlit Bay," for example, I had to fight the urge not to ask
them to sing it again on the spot!
(Samantha, Bobby behind)
Are we a little biased? Yes, I think we are. There's just something about
this genuine working-class family, a refreshing realness, that makes us root
just a little bit harder. Seeing how far they've come, wathcing as the musical
torch is being lovingly passed, we can't help but wish them well in a business
that has very little heart and soul as a rule. We have become fans. And if you
catch their act, I suspect that you will become a fan too.
is a freelance writer/photographer, and
the author of three "Stick Foster" hardback mystery novels.
A former syndicated columnist for
the Detroit Free Press, his byline has appeared over 100 times in
national and regional periodicals. Kevin is a partner at
No Bull Productions,
and his PR credits include promotion and
booking work for several of Kansas City's top blues bands. Kevin can
be reached at nobull@NoBullProductions.com.
Ellie Apuzzo owns and operates
Ellie's Consider It Done.
"on-site oversight for absentee owners" here in the Florida
Keys; and so far, this lifelong New Yorker just can't seem to
get into "Keys time!" Ellie can be reached at
Posted on Sep 10, 2001