Album Review: Kevin McKrell Brings the Light While “In Quarantine”

We can all agree that 2020 has not been the most conventional or easy year to maneuver.  That is why the new release In Quarantine by local folk musician Kevin McKrell, founder of The McKrells and Donnybrook, delivers a smile to us at a rather gloomy time.  In his newest release, McKrell provides an acoustic upbeat tempo, song after song.  Even the sad songs make you smile.  His melody along with catchy lyrics get the toes tapping, and head-bopping throughout the entire album.
Recent Album Release Show at Caffe Lena

“In The Valentine Card” and “Sunshine,” the songs set the stage of a man and his guitar.  Throughout the album, you can picture McKrell in the corner of your local pub enjoying the comradery of the patrons as they listen along.  In both “I Can Breathe Again” and “In A Boat Named Love and Happiness,” he reminds us that even in the gloomiest of times, there is a light of hope.  “In My Big Old Broken Heart,” this twangy tune reminds me of a Johnny Cash song telling of a story of lost love as you hear the train whistle blow in the background, however in its delivery, there’s no way you can’t help but smile at his heartbreak melody.  The next tune, “A Simple Thing,” happens to be one of my favorites as it tells a bittersweet story of a couple who have grown old together and the cruel fate of time where age takes its toll. Back to the country upbeat tempos, you heard back in the ’70s,

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In “Mass Pike Morning,” I find this tune reminiscent of the days of 18-wheeler songs as it has you picture the tires trucking on down the road on its way home to his love. In “Dublin Town,” I can picture McKrell busking along Grafton Street as the lights twinkle above him, a true Celtic folk tune of life and struggle.  “You and Me,” hits home in this time as it is a love song to reminds us that it’s the simple things in life that mean the most. In I “Heard and Angel,” once again you get the tongue-twisting lyrics that I couldn’t belt out that fast and again with the toes tapping!  “Convince Myself” takes a turn on the happy snappy love song, and McKrell gives us the sad love song of loves long gone.  Bit even still, it was a snappy beat.  “Go To Sleep” is a sweet song I can hear a father sing to his daughter as he’s tucking her in bed at night. In “Home,” McKrell paints a picture of the desolation that we all must be feeling with the solitude of lockdown in this folk song. Finally, “Raglin Road,” is a beautiful Celtic tune that makes you want a pint as you sit in front of the hearth with the smell of peat at the local pub enjoying a session with him.

Artwork by Kevin McKrell

New to Mr. McKrell’s music, I found his work uplifting in a time we need positive vibes, and in googling around about him I came across his amazing folk-art paintings and prints.  He paints a picture through his lyrics and all I can say is I can truly feel his music in his paintings, and the paintings reflective of his music.  The sounds left me upbeat and smiling, and I just loved his artwork and must buy one myself!!! Thanks to Kevin for his positive tunes in a positively unconventional time.

Standout Songs: My Big Old Broken HeartA Simple Thing; and Raglin Road

Purchase the new album directly from Kevin McKrell’s website:

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