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Kev/Sounds

Artwork and design: Kevin Featherly

Artwork and design: Kevin Featherly

Here you may, to your heart’s content (or dismay), peruse the music that I have either written, co-written or otherwise adapted and recorded (but only on behalf of authors who are close friends or family members, who are fully credited, and who will not challenge me on copyright grounds. Right? RIGHT!?!?!).

Hope you like this selection of Kevy’s greatest misfires.

Michael

This is my video tribute and musical to my dear friend Michael Olk, who left us this year, leaving us all the poorer. The folkiest of my recordings. I seem to detect a slight Dave Mason feel.

The other files on this page are audio only.

Never Gone

In observation of the 20th anniversary of the conversation that righted my world (on Oct. 7, 1994), here is my musical tribute to Tammy Nelson (complete with faux George Harrison guitar solo). The song is maybe a decade old, but it has been freshly posted to Soundcloud. That makes it new. Sort of…. Work with me.

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A Bitter Chill

Just to throw a serious curveball at you, here is the only piece of chamber music I have ever attempted. Wish it was being played by real instruments—how I would love to hear that. This instead was composed with Finale notation software and is playing back on the sound generator embedded in that program. Best I can do, sorry. Unless you happen to know a willing string quartet…. One day I will remember to run this through a compressor and bring up the volume. It’s quiet. Turn it up!

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O Brother, Sleep Ye Well

A mournful track, to be sure. It was written and recorded on the one-year anniversary of the death of my beautiful 29-year-old nephew, Brian Miller. The lyrics were inspired a bit by the “Book of Common Prayer.” The arrangement, one has to acknowledge, owes much to The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

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Greedy Soul

Directly inspired by Mark Everett (known to the world as Eels), this is the lead track to my 2007 self-produced and self-distributed CD, “Plastic On The Fire.” It was also used on the soundtrack to my 2011 documentary “This Is What Democracy Looks Like.”

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Laurel Of Montana

All I’ll say about this one is that it has the nearest approximation to a David Gilmour guitar solo that I could come up with. An early recording effort, probably ought to take another run at this one someday.

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The Burnouts

Not much to say about this one. Sounds like it was written and recorded in the mid-80s. Actually it was probably written then. But it was recorded much more recently. Sort of a Pet Shop Boys meets a big bottle of testosterone feel to it. And a shot of Curtis Mayfield as a chaser.

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Well-Hung Blues

Unfortunately, I must confess, the title is a pun. Well-hung as in a world-record-setting hangover. Don’t miss those days. My mom always hated this song. Said it sounded like Johnny Cash. Which to her meant it sounded like it was sung by a drunk. But that’s only when I sang it. Here the vocals are handled capably by Bruce Featherly.

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I Hate Mimes

Warning: NSFW. The lyrics of this song contain some profanities, but like the classic “Louie, Louie,” it is incomprehensible at any speed. To the degree that this sheet of rage-storm noise can be said to have been “written,” this one was written with my high school chum Matthew Peterson. It was our response to the Suburbs’ “I Like Cows.” As you may be able to discern, cows come in for some verbal punishment here, along with the mimes. Recorded with my sons Zack and Nate Featherly on bass, drums and guitar. All I had to do was scream. Why? Because mimes #*!* me up!

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…and now …

Because sometimes your dad up and dies on you. Written for and submitted during a college creative writing course, it was rejected by the teacher for being a “song” not a “poem.” This was actually composed before my father died. Somewhat strangely, it was not necessary to change any of the lyrics when I recorded it two decades later. RIP, Philip N. Featherly. Zack Featherly’s drums are particularly subdued here. Nice job, kiddo.

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Plain White Rapper

Warning: Lyrics may be NSFW. This is not my song–it is my little brother Bruce’s. I recorded it and supplied all the instrumentation, with one important exception. Bruce is playing the motorcycle jacket zipper that substitutes for a scratch turntable. I’m also the guy responsible for the bad Flava Flav imitation. Extra vocals provided by Kirk Anderson and Nancy Brewster. To clear up any misunderstanding–absolutely no ganga was consumed during the making of this recording! And a close listen should reveal that this song, while hilarious, is no endorsement of the stoner lifestyle. So please, no emails!

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Come To Me

For better or worse, this was the first song I ever wrote—though it was recorded many years later. In its original incarnation, it was the attempt of a 17-year-old boy trying to position himself between the book covers of his fetching young English teacher. But in recording it, I recognized that the empathetic emotions I thought I was faking at the time were actually quite real. Teen-aged boys. What a mess! I played my own drums this time. Very Ringo!

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Trouble and Turmoil

My friend Howard Owens sent this song to me to set to arrange and record. It was a worthy challenge. What started out as a simple (but effective) solo rockabilly song in Howard’s original turned into a roaring, edgy, Nirvana-like hurricane of hate (in a good way—actually Howard and I are both quite likable guys). Lead vocal by my inestimable little brother, Bruce Featherly. Dave Grohl-like earthquake drums by the brilliant Scott Maida.

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Your Best Friend

An ode to lost love and good riddance. (Damn, I miss that dame. At least in theory.) Written too many years ago. From my self-produced, self-distributed CD, “Goodnight, Democracy.” Drums by Zachary Featherly. The woman I love presently said, “It sounds like ELO!” This made me ponder for a moment whether she still loves me. At least she didn’t say it sounds like the 1910 Fruitgum Company.

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Incidentally, if for some reason you prefer it, you can hear all the same stuff at my Soundcloud page.

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