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Tribute to Milwaukee’s Kevn Kinney set for release on Record Store Day

Kevn Kinney (center) performing with Drivin N Cryin in Charlotte earlier this year.
Kevn Kinney / Facebook
Kevn Kinney (center) performing with Drivin N Cryin in Charlotte earlier this year.

Over the summer, Gordon Gano and Brian Ritchie of the Violent Femmes each released a song in tribute to another Milwaukee music great: Kevn Kinney, who founded Atlanta band Drivin N Cryin. The tracks were harbingers of a much bigger project that will ultimately deliver four LPs’ worth of various artists covering Kinney’s work.

Now, we know the details of the first of those albums, titled Let’s Go Dancing: Said the Firefly to the Hurricane: A Compilation Celebrating the Songs of Kevn Kinney. For starters, there’s the track list that features Gano’s previously released effort, as well as several Georgia-connected artists, including REM’s Peter Buck, Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers and Jason Isbell. Here’s the full rundown:

  1. “Let’s Go Dancing,” Patterson Hood (featuring Peter Buck)
  2. “Another Scarlet Butterfly,” Alejandro Escovedo
  3. “The House Above Tina’s Grocery,” Wreckless Eric
  4. “Mountaintop,” Elf Power
  5. “Together,” Parker Gispert
  6. “Passing Through,” Erin Rae (featuring Seth Martin)
  7. “Count the Flowers,” Pylon Reenactment Society
  8. “Look What You’ve Done To Your Brother,” Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit
  9. “Gotta Move On,” Gordon Gano and Boy Dirt Car (featuring Violent Femmes)
  10. “Gotta Get Out Of Here,” Shovels and Rope
  11. “Peacemaker,” Great Lake Swimmers
  12. “Save For Me,” Shelly Colvin (featuring Dylan LeBlanc)

Your first chance to get your hands on the album is a limited edition set for release Nov. 24, Record Store Day. There will also be a wider vinyl distribution starting Dec. 1 and a digital version coming Jan. 5. Later in 2024, we’ll get the other three LPs from the collection, which started as a 60th birthday gift for Kinney from his wife, Anna Jensen.

Album art from "Said the Firefly to the Hurricane."
Tasty Goody Records
Album art from "Said the Firefly to the Hurricane."

During the pandemic, she reached out to Kinney’s friends and asked them to record themselves performing his songs. The overwhelming response sent the project in a much bigger direction, with a heavyweight lineup of musicians getting into the studio to lay down proper versions of their chosen track.

There was plenty of material for them to pick from. Kinney’s Milwaukee days included membership in punk band The Prosecutors, after which he moved to Atlanta and founded Drivin N Cryin, whose lengthy discography includes their most commercially successful effort, 1991’s Fly Me Courageous. Kinney also has several solo efforts to his name, most recently 2022 album Think About It.

If you’d rather not go the Record Store Day route and are willing to wait a little longer for Said the Firefly to the Hurricane, you can visit the Tasty Good Records website for information about how to secure a copy and links to several singles from the project.