It’s new music Friday and today marks the release of Myles Kennedy’s sophomore album, The Ides of March.
Myles Kennedy is arguably one of the busiest men in music. When he’s not on the road or recording with Alter Bridge, he’s usually working with Slash and the Conspirators. Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, Kennedy used the unscheduled downtime of last year to write and record the long-awaited follow-up to his debut solo album, Year of the Tiger.
Where Year of the Tiger was a retrospective look back to his childhood, The Ides of March is highly reflective of what we all encountered and endured over the last year. From the opening track which begs everyone to “Get Along,” to the fear of impending doom in “In Stride,” the narrative follows through to an uplifting and optimistic “it’s going to be alright again” in “Wanderlust Begins.”
During last year’s lockdown, Myles got to writing the new songs and recording demos. Once he had the material to a level where he was ready to record, he jumped in a car with longtime friend and drummer, Zia Uddin and bassist/manager, Tim Tournier, and they all headed to Florida to record the album with longtime producer Michael “Elvis” Baskette. With 2020 being such an emotion-provoking year on so many levels, it’s not surprising that this is reflected in the lyrics. With that being said, the songs are also reflective of emotions and situations we all find ourselves in year after year, and so will also stand the test the time. For example, “Get Along” was initially written in March 2020 reflecting on the words of Rodney King where he pleaded for everyone to “just get along.” Little did he know, shortly after penning the song and wondering if it was still relevant today, the country took to the streets to protest the murder of George Floyd.
Kennedy has taken this solo opportunity to incorporate his love of rock, blues, and country which he otherwise is not able to with Alter Bridge and Slash. As he’s predominantly known for one genre of music, it must be great to get to flex your muscles in other areas. Not everyone is able to achieve this successfully, but listening to this album, it is clear to hear he is not a one-trick pony. The Ides of March showcases all aspects of his iconic and highly recognizable voice, a good healthy dose of some bluesy slide guitar, and his storytelling lyrics. His debut solo album had a predominately acoustic sound, but The Ides of March has stepped away from the stripped-back feel and is heavily electric throughout.
Luckily, we won’t have to wait too long to hear these new songs performed live as Kennedy has already announced some tour dates with more to be announced soon.
The Ides of March is out today via Napalm Records.