Some Kind of Paradise


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Who are the Dead Reckoners?   The singer/songwriters are partners in the Dead Reckoning label and make amazing music, together and separately.  If you’re lookin’ for some kind of (musical) paradise, this is it!

Newsflash!   Kevin, Kieran and Fats’ new album Lost John Dean comes out soon! Check out What’s New? for the scoop!

Why would someone create a fan site for a record label?  Let me try to explain….

I came to the Dead Reckoners rather late. It had been years since I had found much on the radio that I liked. A friend kept telling me that I’d love Kevin Welch and Kieran Kane, but I just never got around to checking them out. Then, one night I was half-watching CMT’s Jammin’ Country while doing other things and a song caught my ear–Kevin’s “True Love Never Dies.” A couple days later I heard “Till I See You Again,” and was sold. That was it–the kind of music I’d been looking for!

I told my friend (who didn’t even say “I told you so!”) and she sent me a couple of CDs of Kieran’s and Kevin’s as a gift. One listening, and I was irretrievably hooked. Both of these guys touched my heart, my head and my ears with their music: Kieran’s songs are full of raw emotion and I felt like he frequently was giving voice to my own feelings in his songs (okay…except that I really haven’t ever considered self-immolation…)–and he had such a great voice! His songs are so intimate and immediate that it almost felt like eavesdropping to listen to some of them–which grabbed me immediately. Kevin’s lyrics are poetic and philosophical, yet at the same time, many of them are so vivid that listening to them is like watching a movie in my head–and he writes great “character study” songs in which he sings about places and people I feel like I know.

A couple of months later, I was once again half-listening to Jammin’ Country (really, I don’t watch it all that often!) and a song cut like a knife through the rest of the music playing that night. I looked at the screen and recognized Mike Henderson from Kevin’s videos–he was playing “Wouldn’t Lay My Guitar Down.” It was cool–sounded like something from the past and present all at once!

Mike was also on Dead Reckoning, the same label as Kevin and Kieran. So, I got the A Night of Reckoning CD, which features each of the “Dead Reckoners”–the owners/partners in the label. I liked the whole thing, but the song that blew me away was Tammy Rogers’ “Pearl Earrings”–it was like a perfect modernization of an old English folk ballad. I bought her self-titled CD and loved it. Not only was she a great fiddle player, she wrote some gorgeous songs!

By this point, I had finally figured out I ought to look into Harry Stinson, the other Dead Reckoner–only to find he had worked with literally every one of my favorite singers (except one–what’s keeping you, Dwight?), going back to when I was a kid and loved the Dirt Band, Jimmy Buffett and Michael Murphey, to now with Iris Dement, Radney Foster, Lee Roy Parnell and Kelly Willis (and, of course, the other Reckoners).

I finally felt like I’d found a musical “home”–some kind of a musical paradise. It drives me nuts that these people are putting out such great music and radio isn’t playing it–I wanted to spread the word to others who are looking for something they’re not finding on the radio.

I’ve played these CDs for friends, in seo leeds with a wide range of musical tastes and every one of them has liked them–from the country-hating friend who said “This isn’t what I thought country music was–I really like this!” when she heard Kieran’s The Blue Chair to the symphony/opera lover who now adores Tammy Rogers to the Eminem fan who is hooked on Kevin’s lyrics.

But I’m sure there are more people out there who are looking for their musical paradise, and I thought building a website about the great musicians on the Dead Reckoning label might help them find it. If you’re looking for some real country music–intelligent, poetic lyrics, raw emotion, great arrangements without any superfluous fluff–this is it! Check these guys out–you’ll love ’em!

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