Mikey Kenney & Ottersgear – The Quest for Rest (Sotones)
Reviewed for Bearded Magazine
When they roll out the clichés about the difficulties of making the follow up album, one should really consider the privileged position of the subject/s. If we have to generalise about such things then we could say that the hardest one to make is rather the debut, for unless you get that first LP just so, you may never make another. As an emerging artist, one desires many things: a voice, confirmation of one’s own ability, a way of wrapping up half a lifetime’s worth of ideas, a way of balancing needs and expectations against the vicissitudes of the industry, the list goes on.
Mikey Kenney hails from Liverpool, but he’s a man of nature, and a gifted multi-instrumentalist – he plays most of the instruments here, including fiddle, guitar, mandolin and banjo. His Ottersgear project is a concept that has changed over time: these initial songs for The Quest for Rest growing alongside him since their birth in the Lancastrian wilds, through their teenage demo phase, to professional maturity. In Kenney’s case, perseverance has paid off – sticking to the root idea, but refining it, has allowed him to instil a mature sense of self within the confines of the idea, and within the confines of this recording. Perhaps more importantly, by narrowing in on the songs’ very real sense of place, Kenney has filled his world, and we are left with a picture bursting with life; a fullness of sound, and a sense of completion. Read more . .