You might not recognize Kevin Jenkins’ name, but you’ll love his music
Kevin Jenkins might be one of my most favorite type of musicians working today.
He’s talented enough to share the A-list spotlight with musical heavyweights like Eric Clapton or Bill Withers, but either hasn’t gotten the chance to star in his own project yet, or has had the opportunity but chose to pass it up.
I put Jenkins in the same category as people like Ray LaMontagne or Ben Harper. They’re insanely talented and know they could set the world on fire, but instead focus on creating good music.
Jenkins’ new album “Till the Story’s Told” has an impressive range of tracks. There’s the slow, heart-wrenching ballad “Why,” the relaxed and carefree “Kings of Everything,” and the funky, Red Hot Chili Peppers-sounding “Crazy Weather.” Then, if the harmonica in the title track doesn’t have you dancing, or wishing you could dance to it, there’s something wrong with you.
The only real head scratcher is the opening track, a cover of “Spirit in the Sky.” It’s not a bad cover, but, when you press play on the album, with the chanting of “Jesus and Moses, Mohammad and Krishna” before the recognizable guitar lick of the original from Norman Greenbaum, you might be a little confused as to what kind of music this is supposed to be.
Jenkins, as evidenced by the rest of his album, knows how to write kick-ass original songs. I would have almost rather have heard him start the album with another original instead of a cover.
Jenkins’ displays his experience, he’s been a professional bassist for 38 years, excellently on “Till the Story’s Told.” You can hear his influences, but the songs don’t feel as if he’s ripped off anyone.
This might only be Jenkins’ second solo album, but over the years he has opened for such huge artists as Michael Jackson, The Police, Eric Clapton, Tina Turner, BB King, and Joe Cocker. He’s worked with Cyndi Lauper, Enrique Iglesias, Taylor Dayne, Vicki Sue Robinson, Graham Parker, Lamya, Black 47, Holly Palmer, October Project, Cliff Eberhardt, Tom Rush and, most recently, Grammy-nominated blues queen Shemekia Copeland.
His rich voice carries with it a distinct personality and you’ll find yourself humming the melodies to his songs long after hearing them.
The story behind the album is just as inspiring as the music itself, also. According to the official press release, Jenkins wrote and produced the album after losing his father and seeing the birth of his grandchild, both events influenced Jenkins heavily.
It’s great to see a talented dude get his chance to show off his own music after years of helping others reach for their ambitions. We here at Big Sky State Buzz wish him the best of luck as his name continues to gain prominence across the world.