Kerry Kearney: Kerry Kearney

Long Island based slide guitar ace Kerry Kearney makes a strong impression on his self-titled debut (Palmetto PM 2060; 50:58). Switching from dobro on “Girl from Memphis” to stinging electric guitar licks on “Gypsy Baby,” Kearney wails with virtuosity while delivering rough-hewn vocals reminiscent of Huey Lewis. He touches on Cajun country with “Come On Down” and “Howling at the Moon” then presents a humorous slice of domestic bliss on his own “So Damn Lucky,” a giddy vehicle for his superb dobro playing. A clever arranger as well as a solid songwriter, Kearney offers unique twists on Chuck Berry’s “Roll Over Beethoven,” Robert Johnson’s “Ramblin’ on My Mind” and a brief bluegrass picking rendition of the old traditional ditty “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”