Solo Piano Covers by Dan Kennedy

Album Review for New Age CD, New Age Notes Radio, and Zone Music Reporter (ZMR)

Dan Kennedy is a well-known, award-winning solo pianist in the New Age music arena. “Solo Piano Covers” is his first album of cover tunes. He personally selected these particular pieces for this album, ranging from Tracy Chapman, to U2, to The Beatles. Dan has arranged these in a “classical crossover” style. Here we have 10 tracks of cover tunes available as a digital download album.

The solo piano album opens with the gorgeously beautiful “A Thousand Years” originally by Christina Perri and David Hodges. It’s a great choice to begin this album. The song was written as a tribute to the fictional characters Bella and Edward of the epic vampire series, “The Twilight Saga.” Sensitively played, this is lovely and romantic, just as it should be.

I am sure we are all familiar with U2’s “With or Without You,” which follows. This is very nicely done and interestingly arranged. Another that most of us are familiar with is Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time.” Again, played well, and with an interesting arrangement. Ditto for the iconic Sarah McLachlan song, “Angel.” “May you find some comfort here. . .”

Willie Nelson’s “Always on My Mind” is very nice to find here. Dan has a way of arranging on this album that is unique, and his piano playing is heartfelt.  “Hold Me Now” is an 80s pop tune from the Thompson Twins. This is very flowing, likeable, and well done.

Although I thought it might be almost sacrilegious to do a cover of a Beatles’ song, here we have “Two of Us.” As you may know, this is a rather happy tune, and here Dan has captured that ambiance well.

“We’ll Be a Dream,” originally by We the Kings, feat. Demi Lovato is a kind of soft rock/pop ballad. Dan has captured that gentle, rhythmic flow very nicely here. His arrangement is fun.

“. . .If not today, then why make your promises. . .” The amazing song by Tracy Chapman, “If Not Now,” is also an ambitious cover in my opinion. It’s a deeply emotional tune originally done by Tracy on her guitar. Here, with the piano, Dan has conveyed that emotion very well. Amazing. It’s a favorite.

The album closes out with the traditional Irish street ballad, “The Wearing of the Green.” Dan also did a great job with this one, and it’s a good close to this very interesting, thought-provoking choice of solo piano covers. Somehow, it all just works.

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