Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet




Better late than never for Ken Stead's EP "Unfinished". The release party for the disk was held back in November 2013, but WYCE is seeing it in February 2014. No matter. The music is still fresh.

Ken Stead doesn't live in Grand Rapids anymore. . Let's call him "local emeritus".  His old band "Ken Stead and the Messengers" performed throughout Southwest Michigan until his day job took him to Minnesota and the rest of the band stayed behind. That was in the summer of 2011. After Minnesota, Ken moved back to his original home of Alberta, Canada, so if you've been wondering what happened to him, now you know.

"Unfinished" has seven tracks, but only six songs, because "Better Days" appears twice.  The sedate studio version opens the disk, and a bouncier live acoustic version closes it. The overall feel is folk, but with richer instrumentation than one expects from a singer/songwriter. What you won't find is a singer alone on stage with a guitar, or backing band heavily influenced by bluegrass. Instead you get the kind of folk that crossed over onto the progressive rock stations in the 70s. Think of Jonathan Edwards and you won't be too far off.

---Gerald Etkind

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.