Irish singer and Riverdance -- On Broadway star Brian Kennedy, has been seeking co-writers with New York City music publishers and says he will begin writing new songs for his next solo album as early as next week.
An established solo artist with a large following in Ireland, Kennedy told Playbill On-Line that he plans to work on a solo album during his off time and that it should be ready early next year.
Kennedy remains fully committed to Riverdance through Jan. 7 and says he is enjoying the theatre experience -- even though there have been some extraordinary challenges. "One thing I had to get used to was not talking to the audience," Kennedy explained. "I'm used to involving them, and with Riverdance I literally have just four amazing pieces to sing and then the finale, so the role is more about being part of a bigger picture."
Describing himself as "essentially a live performer," Kennedy plans to keep those skills sharp. He has started to do solo gigs at Arlene Grocery, a music club on the Lower East Side, where he hopes to establish something of an informal residency. Thus far, Kennedy has booked shows there on July 3, July 10, and July 24.
Kennedy plans to collaborate with different writers a few days each week during his off time from the show. "I'd like to make a record in New York," Kennedy said. "In fact, I have always wanted to record something here. I am hoping to properly juggle everything so that by next spring the new solo album will be ready." Kennedy said he has been meeting with "all the publishers in New York trying to hook up with their writers. They've been playing me the cream of their crop, material that is suitable to my type of music, which is more or less Irish Soul."
Thought he hesitates to describe music, believing it's better if it gets out there first, Kennedy said, "After all the work I've done with Van Morrison and Riverdance, as well as my own four LPs, I suppose that will extend somehow into the new record. But I've also found that you always start one thing and it ends up becoming something else entirely. Whatever happens, I think we'll have a definite New York influence.
While he's in New York, Kennedy is living in the Village, something he says he used to dream about. During the Riverdance run, he was assigned Frank Sinatra's old dressing room at the Gershwin. "Life is good," he says.
-- By Murdoch McBride