Massachusetts singer, songwriter Kenny Hogan says his new album took three years to make, but if you listen carefully to him and the music, you soon realize this has been a lifetime in the making.
Hogan, who grew up in Medford (in the same neighborhood where I grew up) and now lives in Stoneham, has been a professional musician for 40 years, having played lead guitar in several bands that toured nationally.
His new album, “Frank’s Imperial,” features all original songs in a variety of genres including soul, rockabilly, blues, jazz, country, and electrifying rock n’ roll. Amazingly, he sings all lead and backing vocals and plays all of the instruments on most tracks.
Hogan’s influences are apparent: Motown, Beatles, Steely Dan, even Hank Williams. However, this album is truly original and a welcome find for music fans from the ’60s and ’70s.
The name of the album refers to Hogan’s memory of his father’s love for his 1967 Imperial automobile. The title track is a smooth, soulful tune that conjures up images of a 12-year-old boy sitting in the back of this massive luxury sedan with shiny chrome and fins while his father negotiates “rollercoaster road.”
- “Let’s Go!”: A hard-driving, rockabilly tune.
- “Real Good Day”: An easy going melody featuring a jazz clarinet gives this track the same feel-good sentiment as the Beatle’s “Good Day Sunshine.”
- “The Uke Song”: This number makes you think of grass skirts on a tropical island as Hogan sings about being away on a business trip in Florida while his wife is stuck up in snowy, freezing Boston. A smart DJ would play this for comic relief during the winter months.
- “Heaven”: Lush backing vocals on this soul tune are all Hogan.
- “Everything I Need”: Bluesy, grinding harmonica accompanies this song about “family, friends, and music.”
All of the songs on this album were a labor of love for Hogan. And it shows.
(Kenny Hogan will be interviewed live on WMBR radio on Sept. 10 at 4 p.m. Cuts from “Frank’s Imperial” will also be featured.)
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