Great Lake Swimmers are the latest musicians to contribute their take on a Kevn Kinney-penned song with Drivin’ n Cryin’s “Peacemaker” for the tribute project called Let’s Go Dancing: A Celebration of Kevn Kinney. It was via Tasty Goody Records, the label created by visual artist Anna Jensen to deliver this “massive love letter” to her husband.
Since June 13th, 2023, Tasty Goody has been releasing a single every other week, which will culminate in a final aggregation of 100 songs digitally, performed by a mix of musicians ranging from lesser-known cult favorites to big national artists.
The project will also include a series of four physical albums to be released seasonally with the first installment, Said the firefly to the hurricane, coming on November 24, 2023. Each album and single will be released with an unique piece of artwork created by Anna, an accomplished painter.
Kevn Kinney describes:
a lyrical study in observations, self-reflection and optimism.
The Star maker
The Day maker
The Peace maker
Always moving forward.
Anna Jensen comments:
Like many of Kevn’s songs, ‘Peacemaker’ is hard to describe if you try to break it down literally, yet your heart and soul understand it completely. The lyrics bring tears to my eyes yet energy to my feet, inspiring me to action rather than wallowing. I felt this song was perfect for the Great Lake Swimmers because I find their music to be so gorgeously atmospheric while also somehow activated. Their treatment of this supremely special lyrical gem is nothing short of perfection.
The seed of the idea for this album took root two years ago during peak Covid when Kevn’s 60th birthday was approaching. Since they couldn’t celebrate properly in person, Anna Jensen, Kinney’s wife, reached out to Kevn’s musical friends asking them to send in videos covering his songs. The outcome was so astonishing that it led to this musical project.
Proceeds from physical sales will go to a variety of charities including: SIMS Foundation which offers mental health and addiction services for folks in the music industry, How Big Is Your Dream, an education-based youth empowerment organization, Out of the Woods which helps kids with spinal cord and brain injuries, and FarmLink Project which partner farmers with food banks to tackle food waste and food insecurity.
Streaming will benefit the individual artists and each artist will also own their master for future uses.
Anna explains her hopes for the tribute album:
Kevn has been described by those in the know as a forebearer of ‘Americana’ music based on his very early melding of genres (rock, country, folk) to make genuine American music. That was not always seen as a blessing; in fact it was often a curse since the industry didn’t know how to market something so multifaceted at the time. I think that as much as Kevn and Drivin’ n Cryin’ are loved and respected in inner circles, they’ve been mislabeled, misunderstood, undervalued, and underrepresented, more widely. I am hoping all that changes, in part, thanks to the outpouring of love and the acknowledgement from some of the most lauded musical artists of multiple generations/genres contributing to this tribute, lifting Kevn Kinney up as one of their biggest influences, and most importantly, the greatest of friends!
To date, the following tribute singles released include:
9/1 Lore (lead guitarist of Drivin n Cryin) “Madman Blues”
8/18 Pylon Reenactment Society “Count the Flowers”
8/4 Scott McCaughey and Peter Buck “MacDougal Blues”
7/28 Mike Farris “Honeysuckle Blue”
7/14 Erin Rae “Passing Through”
6/30 Jon Wheelock (The Tunes) “Indian Song”
6/13 Violent Femmes founding member/vocalist Gordon Gano with historic Milwaukee noise band Boy Dirt Car “Gotta Move On”
6/13 Violent Femmes founding member/bassist Brian Ritchie “Catch the Wind”