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Front Deck Boom Box: Pat Kenny

22 August 2023 | 3:20 pm | Mary Varvaris

We caught up with Pat Kenny to find out what songs he's listening to for this week’s Front Deck Boom Box.

Pat Kenny

Pat Kenny (Source: Supplied)

Queensland-based alt-country, blues and rock singer Pat Kenny returned with his latest single, Storm a Comin’, last Friday (18 August).

Anchored by his silky smooth voice and slick banjo playing, Kenny takes listeners on a soft-rock melodic journey that only grows with a fiddle solo and his harmonies. Influenced by rock acts like Kaleo, Kenny’s storytelling immediately makes the single one of his strongest yet. You can listen to it below.

Working with Byron Bay songwriter Garrett Kato, who took production duties, Kenny said about his latest number, “On this particular camping trip, we saw the clouds rolling in, but we assured ourselves that the weather report said, ‘no chance of storms’. How wrong we were.

“The universe can give you all the warning signs that your life is about to be turned upside-down. Sometimes we listen to those warning signs, and sometimes we don’t.”

While Kenny likes to explore a Storm a Comin’, he also enjoys sharing the music he’s been listening to. Pat Kenny is this week’s Front Deck Boom Box star – check out his song choices below.

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Anti-Hero by Josiah and the Bonnevilles

I have listened to Josiah & The Bonnevilles more than any other artist this year, and his cover of Taylor Swift’s Anti Hero was my gateway to his catalogue. He managed to turn Taylor’s pop anthem into a Bob Dylan-esque folk song, complete with harmonica and earnest sincerity.

Of all the things social media has brought us, I’m so glad Josiah’s music was one of them. I can’t get enough of it. Favourite Lyrics: “I have this thing where I get older but just never wiser.”

Way Of The Triune God (Hallelujah Version) by Tyler Childers 

Tyler Childers's gospel-themed track, Way Of The Triune God, was an unexpected hit for me. He’s a songwriter that sings with such rawness and sincerity that you can’t help but to be moved by it. I’m forever belting this track out on road trips.

The song reminds me of something from the O’ Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack, crossed with a modern honky tonk flavour. Who can dislike that combo? Favourite Lyrics: “Gimme that old time screamin’ and a shoutin’. Go up, tell it on the mountain.”

St Jupiter by Ruston Kelly

Ruston Kelly is somewhat of a Nashville outsider, and those artists seem to be the kind of writers I love. He’s cornered the market on ‘acoustic punk country’, and his off-brand lyrics manage to move me and make me smile at the same time.

St Jupiter reflects on the best memories of the past while recognising that you’ve got to let seasons change and let flowers die. It’s both irreverent and profound, and that’s my kind of song. Favourite Lyrics: “I feel fat and old, and dumber. And I’m watching time disappear.”

In Spite Of Ourselves by John Prine 

I had to include a classic in my list, and I couldn’t go past a John Prine track. He walks the line between humour and emotional sincerity like no other songwriter — and that’s a really hard thing to do! In the same song, he can make you laugh, cry, and reflect on societal norms, all within three minutes. In Spite of Ourselves does exactly that, and it never gets old.

My wife and I often sing lines from this song to each other doing daily tasks like washing up, and it still makes me laugh. Favourite Lyrics: “He ain’t too sharp, but he gets things done. Drinks his beer like it’s oxygen.”

Bark At The Moon by Riley Catherall 

I really wanted to include an Australian writer in my top five, and it was hard to go past Riley Catherall. The imagery and the depth Riley manages to cram into his lyrics is amazing, and I think he’s setting the standard for lyric writing in the current Australian country music scene.

I’ve listened to Bark At The Moon a whole bunch in the last 12 months, and I can’t sing its praises any higher. It’s catchy, it’s introspective, the imagery is beautiful, and the chanting choir outro is just so good! Favourite Lyrics: “Leftover hyenas and the part-time dreamers find their way home on the same line.”