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Feature Article - September 22, 2005

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Feature Article

September 22, 2005

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Crooked Wood releases Ta'ble of Contents:New CD doesn't hide from its folk roots

review by Jeff Green

Ta'ble of Contents CDcover (click for larger view) It’s now been over 40 years since the great folk music revival of the early 1960’s and the times have changed so much that many musicians and music festivals have abandoned the folk label in favour of roots and world beat.

Undaunted, Steve Kennedy and Chris Murphy formed a folk duo, Crooked Wood, in early 2004 and have been performing and writing together ever since. On August 13 they will officially launch the first full-length Crooked Wood recording, Ta’ble of Contents.


Like the best of folk music, Ta’ble of Contents is built on thought-provoking lyrics, an acoustic guitar-based sound, and the blending of two voices.

Chris Murphy is known to music lovers in Frontenac County who are familiar with the Shores of Newfoundland, with whom he performed on a full time basis for five years, from 1999-2004. He also released a solo album, Soliloquy, in 2002,

Steve Kennedy fronted the band S.O.S for three years, and worked in dinner theatre with Ken Atkinson Musical Productions as well. He is also a teacher at St. James Catholic School in Sharbot Lake.

All of these experiences are brought to the performances in Ta’ble of Contents.

There are times when some of the inflections of Stan Rogers can be heard in Chris Murphy’s vocals on songs like Rhetoric and Rhyme, a song about self doubt, and on Amelia, about the disappeared aviatrix Amelia Earhardt.

There are personal songs on the recording, such as Content by Steve Kennedy and What People say by Chris Murphy. At other times, the duo becomes political, as in Kennedy’s Limestone City, which is a meditation on the death of Kingstonian Carl MacDonald in February of 2003, and the jointly written Grasping Hands, based on tragic stories involving young women.

Overall, Ta’ble of Contents represents a coming together of two committed songwriters and musicians who have decided to share their talent.

Ta’ble of Contents will not be officially released until August 13 at a release party in Kingston at the Italio-Canadian Club (1174 Italia Lane - off Montreal Street at the 401) but music from Ta’ble of Contents has already brought a higher profile for Crooked Wood. This past winter, Amelia was featured on the website, digyourroots.ca and was short listed for inclusion on the Dig Your Roots CD of top roots recordings in Canada. In March, Crooked Wood performed material from Ta’ble of Contents at the Mariposa Showcase in Orillia. They were then invited to perform at the Mariposa Festival last month, where they played two concerts to much acclaim.

For more information on Crooked Wood, visit their website.

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