A smoke ring from a Cuban cigar wafts through a city kitchen as a soul singer croons on crackly vinyl; freshly diced onions sizzle as they hit the olive oil in Sunday’s morning’s pan….” With a pungent mix of soul, Latin, Funk, reggae, and good ol’rock ‘n roll, Jen Kearney and the Lost Onion will take you into the kitchen to find that sweetness in the soul food you crave.
“…Whatever you want to call it, Kearney and the Lost Onion provide a dense musical potpourri that is ever surprising…The Stevie Wonder comparisons that follow Kearney around are evident on tunes like “Pick Yourself Up,” while a more jazz/funk tune like “Amity” suggests Aretha Franklin joining Blood, Sweat, and Tears for a gig in Brazil.” (Jay Miller, Patriot-Ledger, 2/07)
Perhaps Kearney owes it all to her Uncle Sal, who taught her to play piano by ear at the ripe old age of four (if you ask Uncle Sal, he’ll swear it was even earlier). Coming from a musical family, Jen was immersed from the start. However, her attempt at the classic “lady down the street” piano lessons ended after three weeks of young Jen’s efforts to try to develop the lady’s appreciation for Fats Domino’s catalog that Jen had learned by ear…
Later, even though she still couldn’t read music, Jen was accepted into UMASS Lowell’s highly regarded Music Performance program. She considers this experience “divine intervention” in terms of the musical connections she’s made with the incredible people she plays with to this day.
After many underground “hootenannies” and open mics, she also taught herself to play guitar, expanding her songwriting to both instruments. Taking the skills learned in college while staying true to her primal instincts, Jen has been honing her own singing, songwriting, and performance style in bands like Cabbage Stew, Kearney Square, and her current Lost Onion configuration.
Kearney was still a teenager when she left Umass and started recording, and her first appearance was on the now-legendary Poorhouse Records compilation, working with Merrimack Valley luminaries like The Shods, Melvern Taylor, and D-Tension. Since that lofty inauguration, Kearney has recorded three albums, and her most recent, “Eat” has garnered kudos from Cambridge to Colorado, the US to Japan.
The album, “The Year of the Ox", represents a different approach for Kearney. A rarity for so long, it’s an actual concept album. Taking a darker direction lyrically and musically, the concept is loosely based on The Ten Ox herding Pictures of ancient Buddhism. Jen found these after pondering over a zodiac placemat at a Chinese restaurant, and was taken by the simplicity of the herder taming the ox that represents the mind.
Working again with Pete MacLean, Carl Johnson, Brian Coakley, Yahuba Garcia, Mark Mullins, Dan Abreu, and many special guests, recorded ably by Bob Nash of Wonka Sound, “The Year of the Ox “ is sure to be a thought-provoking meditation on our universal state of mind.