KENNY & AMANDA SMITH, “Unbound,” Farm Boy Records. 13 tracks
Kenny and Amanda Smith were named the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Emerging Artist of the Year in 2003.
And they’ve lived up to those expectations in the 13 years since.
In 2014, Amanda was named female vocalist of the year by the IBMA.
She’s one of bluegrass’ best singers.
Kenny is a two-time IBMA guitar player of the year.
The duo hasn’t been too active professionally for more than a year,
Kenny has been touring with Band of Ruhks.
And Amanda has been taking time off to be with their daughter, Annabelle, who was born in April of 2015.
But they’re back on the road now, promoting their latest album, “Unbound.”
The first single, “You Know That I Would,” is a mother singing to her newborn about how she would do anything to make the child’s life better.
The title track is about a woman facing doubts about following her dreams, but wondering what it would be like to be free.
“Something’s Missing” finds the singer walking through London, seeing all the sights but missing the person most important to her.
“Hills of Logan County” is a Civil War ballad about a soldier who proposes to the woman he loves before going off to war. She turns him down because she’s not ready. But when the war ends and he’s not home, she grieves herself to death.
Kenny sings “Preaching My Own Funeral,” a song that says we preach our funerals every day with our actions.
He also sings lead on “Tea Party,” a song not about politics but about a man changing his life, when he was a daughter.
But it’s Amanda Smith’s vocals that people want to hear.
And she shines on “Unbound” like she always does.
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