Ry Cavanaugh & Jennifer Kimball with Duke Levine
Ry Cavanaugh was 22 when his father – a country and honky-tonk singer in the late 1970’s – died of heart failure after several years of struggle with chronic depression and prescription opiate addiction. A big-hearted and hard-dreaming man, George Cavanaugh had created a vibrant, often chaotic home life in which music and community were the twin, magical threads.
In 2019, having reached the age at which his father died, Ry carved out time in the midst of recording and touring with his band Session Americana to cut his first solo album in 20 years. The result, Time For This, is the realization of a long-ripening desire to recover and document the songs his father had written four decades prior. A singular departure for an artist who has made his career within the fabric of community, Time For This shifts the focus squarely on his own voice, offering up stark and intimate renditions of the songs that framed his childhood: resurrected, re-worked, and recorded knee-to-knee with Duke Levine, with Jennifer Kimball adding exceptionally delicate harmonies.
Boston-based singer/songwriter and harmony aerialist, Jennifer Kimball is releasing Avocet, her first solo record in ten years. Kimball grew up in a musical family and began singing professionally in 1983 with college classmate, Jonatha Brooke. ‘Jonatha and Jennifer’ evolved into national touring act The Story and signed with Elektra, releasing two critically-acclaimed albums, Grace in Gravity (1991) and Angel in the House (1993).
Jennifer left The Story in 1994 to pursue a career as a freelance harmony singer and solo artist. In 1998 she signed with PolyGram and released her first solo record Veering from the Wave about which The Washington Post wrote “what makes these songs [and their lush-quirky chamber-pop arrangements] so impressive… is the elegant melodies and harmonies, which capture the loneliness and longing that blossom in the wake of separation.”
In the early 2000s, Jennifer lost her mother, got married and had a son, hanging up her touring days in the process. Since then, her musical life has revolved around a vibrant local music scene in Cambridge/Somerville where she continues to share her compelling harmonies and melodic ideas with a slew of local projects, often collaborating with Rose Polenzani, Duke Levine, Rose Cousins, Laura Cortese, Kris Delmhorst, Session Americana, Alastair Moock, Peter Mulvey and Chandler Travis. She continues to write songs, teaches harmony singing, and runs a holiday ensemble called Wintery Songs in Eleventy Part Harmony. Alec Spiegelman (Pokey Lafarge, Cuddle Magic) has produced an album that is surprising, poignant and beautiful, a splendid chamber-pop over and through which floats the unadorned and honest voice of a truly literate songwriter, a voice which conveys warmth without affect, the voice of Jennifer Kimball.