Kenny and the Jets - Finding their 'Water Dreams'

Kenny and the Jets

Finding their “Water Dreams”

By Dave Kosciolek

As a band, Kenny and the Jets have been working on their first album release since planning and recording began in February. The album’s title “Water Dreams” can mean many things to many people, but to Kensley Stewart, the band’s founder, vocalist, and guitarist, she loves the multi-faceted metaphors it can suggest, like “love and loss, healing and destroying,” among other things.

For years, Kensley has been famous for some of the most amazing performances this writer has seen in Saint Augustine, some of which are remembered for the edgier sound she would produce with her hollow body Gretsch guitar. To record this album, she wanted a solid body and found a bargain Fender Mustang that she thought would do the trick. But after a few days she wasn’t getting the right sound or vibe. Just a week before she had to leave to record, a package arrived from her Aunt that contained a cream, white on white, Fender Stratocaster. Guitar problem solved, dream alive.

The album is being recorded, produced, and mixed by long time friend Artie Mondello of The Delusionaires, in his Atlanta home studio that Kensley says is “like going back in time to another world,” because of the eclectic nature of the studio and surroundings which provided the perfect backdrop for being creative. The album will contain four new songs that longtime KATJ fans haven’t heard yet, including a cover of Etta James’ “I’d Rather go Blind,” which will feature the vocals lowered and Kensley reading poetry over the cover. This technique was inspired by similar releases by Tank and the Bangas, and Dr. Dog. The album was also recorded with live takes including the vocals, which Kensley says gave her the opportunity of “belting out the choruses.”

Kenny and the Jets – the band, features Kensley with Jacob Hamilton on baritone guitar, Cole Helman on guitar, and JD Dunlap on drums. Kensley describes the sound of the album as “surf soul rock” or even “far out rock” with a release date expected around February of 2019.

But until the release, you can catch KATJ as Narrow’s top “can’t miss performance” of the 2018 Sing Out Loud Festival, and Kensley is keeping busy with other projects as well. She continues to teach guitar locally, and is open to new students. She also started learning drums about six months ago, and has even been filling in as the backup drummer for Steve Easter in his music project Half My Home. She’s also working on some other new, exciting projects for the near future that will further enhance the local music scenes and keep Kensley as one of the hardest working and creative talents around.

See Kenny and the Jets live, as part of Saint Augustine’s Sing Out Loud Festival, a Narrow ‘Can’t Miss’ performance, @ Sarbez, Saturday Sept. 8, 11:45pm. FREE.

dave kosciolek