Coming Home, the new album by Kevin Slick, which was recorded over several years, is a collection of songs drawing from the folk, singer-songwriter and Americana traditions. The title arose as the artist began performing solo once again after a ten-year stretch of playing primarily in bluegrass bands on Colorado’s Front Range. The songs on this recording, whether original or traditional, also represent a reconnection with what first inspired Kevin as a young acoustic musician.
After landing in Colorado in 2005, Kevin says, “I’ve been playing predominantly bluegrass music, mostly mandolin in different groups…It seems the bluegrass world is also kind of expanding, with artists like Billy Strings and Molly Tuttle and people like that…” So when he started doing more solo gigs, he discovered, “…well gosh, I can play this kind of music I’ve been writing and performing for a long time, more in the folk-roots-Americana vein, and I can even do it a bluegrass festival, because people are into it…”
Kevin has a thoughtful take on the diversity currently blurring the boundaries between genres. “I see a lot of the music I’m putting out now…as somehow being ‘roots’ of bluegrass music. It didn’t just burst from Bill Monroe’s forehead…He was listening to the blues, certainly, with Arnold Schultz and the Carter Family and people like that, and so, I think you actually honor the roots of bluegrass music by playing a wider diversity of sounds…roots, the Celtic traditions…country and folk and ballads.”
Kevin grew up hearing bluegrass music in his home. He began songwriting at a young age, and got started recording as well. “My father was an electrical engineer…We always had pretty good stereo equipment around the house, and reel-to-reel tape recorders…I would sit around and make up songs when I was eight, nine, ten years old. Fortunately, none of those have survived.”
Over his nearly 40-year career, Kevin has shared the stage with artists ranging from Pete Seeger and David Bromberg to Blues Traveler and The Hooters. His live performances have taken him from the legendary folk club Godfrey Daniels to New York’s CBGB’s, ands from festivals to coffeehouses, not to mention street corner or two.
By Dan Walsh