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VIDEOS: The Kennedys add an all-request twist to Mansfield show this Saturday

2010 September 23
Maura & Pete Kennedy at the Rose Garden ~ Photo by Stephen Ide

Maura & Pete Kennedy at the Rose Garden ~ Photo by Stephen Ide

When was the last time a musician or band let the audience completely suggest what they play on stage? The husband-wife duo of Pete and Maura Kennedy are using the power of Facebook to let their fans choose what songs they will play at the Rose Garden Coffeehouse in Mansfield, Mass. on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010. With almost a dozen CDs between them, The Kennedys have quite a library to choose from.

To suggest a song for their show, visit their Facebook page.

It’s the first time that I know of that a group has done this at the Rose Garden. Though it’s not uncommon for a group to take requests at a show, it is somewhat unusual for a group to do so in advance, using Facebook, though I suspect we’ll start seeing it more and more.

The folk-rock duo are known for their magical harmonies, jangly acoustic guitars, amazing picking on guitar and ukulele, and an endearing stage presence that makes each show special.

They met in 1992. Virgina native Pete Kennedy was taking a break from his lead guitar role with country-folk singer-songwriter Nanci Griffith. He was playing a solo gig in Austin, Texas, and met Maura Boudreau of Syracuse, N.Y., who was taking a night off from her own country-rock band The Delta Rays. They wrote their first song together the next day and had their first date at Buddy Holly’s grave and eventually married in 1994.

Read more about The Kennedys here.

Since they released their first CD in 1995, called “River of Fallen Stars,” the couple has won numerous awards. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing The Kennedys many times at the Rose Garden and elsewhere. The joy and energy they bring to the stage are infectious as they play off of one another on guitar, smile as they achieve the perfect vocal harmony blend or put on a bit of theatrics as they raise their guitars high playing back to back in the center of the stage. Nowadays, in addition to having recorded many albums together, they have separate recordings, as well. Maura recently recorded her solo “Parade Of Echoes” and Pete released “Guitarslinger.” So don’t be surprised to see them sometimes perform solo.

I recently saw The Kennedys perform in Connecticut at Strawberry Park. The stage was butt-ugly, but the performance was stellar. Enjoy:

Opening for The Kennedys will be another duo called Looking for Mary, which bases it’s name from the fact that one of them is named Peter, the other Paul. Peter Maricle and Paul Kendrew perform a wonderful mix of soulful harmonies, in a blend of acoustic rock, folk and blues. Each of them has performed in various groups over the past 25 years, and the pair will perform original songs and covers with some interesting twists. It should make for a fine start to the Rose Garden’s 2010-2011 season.

For more details about the show, visit the Rose Garden Coffeehouse web site.

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