The Backstory

Jen Kearney playing a sidewalk piano

“Jen Kearney is a gifted singer who can belt out a song with the best of them. She puts a refreshing new spin on funk music, showing flashes of funk’s horn-drenched heyday in the ’70s, but also modernizing it with thoughtfully conceived lyrics that surround the fun with a lot of stately maturity. Her new album further includes top-notch balladry and a touch of Latin excitement. And the climactic song ‘Sanctuary in Sabotage’ is simply mesmerizing.” Steve Morse (Billboard, Rolling Stone)

Boston born Jen Kearney has spent a lot of time experimenting with seasoning her particular musical style and flavor. Her latest album, Age of Blame is truly an amalgam of musical styles ranging from soul, R&B and funk- to rock, latin and jazz, while maintaining a singer/songwriter’s attention to lyrics. Her band stirs the eight cuts of the album through boiling points and gentle simmers that concentrate that flavor down to hit all points salty, sour, sweet and bitter.

In a pre-release review from Jed Gottlieb of the Boston Herald, Kearney’s “…booming soul voice and smart, tight songs provide the pillars of the eight tunes. But her band adds some awesome voodoo.”

Lyrically, Age of Blame offers deeply personal and hopeful perspective on a myriad of subjects—the main theme being the importance of maintaining balance and love in an ever-evolving world where blame, fear, self-sabotage and deflection are all too easy to succumb to as human contact has receded.

Kearney worked with Peter MacLean on drums, Aaron Bellamy on bass, Amy Bellamy on clavinet and B3 organ, Jason Yost on guitar, Mark Mullins on trumpet and flugelhorn, Jared Sims on saxophone, and Yahuba on percussion.

Additional Press

“The album. A lost art? Not according to…Jen Kearney delivers the goods with a passion and conviction that leaves no question she’s one of the best female vocalists singing right now…” Peter Lavender (The Lowell Sun)

“When Jen Kearney and her band are rumbling along at full throttle, they conjure up a deliciously infectious sound unlike almost anything other local pop/rock artists are doing. It’s muscular and sinuous and bluesy and rollicking and Latin-drenched…’Dean Johnson (WBZ, WCAP)

“.. music that accompanies her is truly original…The main theme that runs through this album is the desire for self-improvement and the pull of nature (specifically the moon) vs our free will. Kearney uses these primitive concepts to take us on a wild musical ride into what makes us human.” Mark Micheli (rootsliving.com)

“…elements of jazz inform Kearney’s music, along with Latin, funk, soul and rock… What’s particularly striking is the story-like quality of Kearney’s lyrics and how she wraps them in just the right musical textures… Kearney’s powerful but nuanced vocal work captures your attention and holds your interest as she tells her story. Her exceptional band navigates varied styles with ease…” Alan Chase (The Wire)

“Jen Kearney’s…versatility is outstanding, whether it’s on rock-edged material that she pulls from the heart, or R&B-infused songs that she pulls from the soul.” Steve Morse (Billboard, Rolling Stone)

““…last September’s Los Lobos concert at Boarding House Park in downtown Lowell played out like the unofficial sendoff party to another spectacular Summer Music Series. In a night full of surprises, one of the biggest may have been the powerful opening set by a local eight-piece soul/jazz/Latin sensation called Jen Kearney & The Lost Onion. Enraptured by Kearney’s soulful vocals, percussionist Yahuba Garcia’s relentless conga rhythms, and a trio of funky horns, the smiling faces and shaking hips in the crowd that night confirmed what some Lowell residents have known for years– Jen Kearney & The Lost Onion know how to command an audience…” Brett Cromwell (Merrimack Valley Magazine)

“I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the concept of ‘music without barriers.’ As such, I’ve been keeping my eyes and ears open for recordings from musicians that best represent this approach. Eat, an intelligent and vibrant CD by singer-songwriter Jen Kearney and her remarkable band The Lost Onion, is such a recording. The band seamlessly blends elements of soul and Latin with a touch of jazz influence, all in a very natural way.” Alan Chase (The Wire)

“…A few weeks ago, I found gold during a marathon listening session…Kearney qualifies as a well-kept local secret. That’s what happens to talented people who pursue a course unrelated to popular trends. Kearney not only sings, but plays electric piano and writes smart, sharp songs…” Larry Katz (The Boston Herald)

“…Jen Kearney and her samba/soul music is finally starting to get noticed, with rave reviews and radio play starting to pile up, which just might prove that there is still a market for adventurous music that touches your heart and moves your hips… whatever you want to call it, Kearney provides a dense musical potpourri that is ever surprising…” Jay Miller (The Patriot Ledger)

“If you’re lucky and in the right place at the right time, one can come across music that is not only great, interesting, meaningful and fun, but actually sustaining and nourishing. Music that seems to take hold of the listener and makes sense out of whatever doubt, fear, or desire a person may bring to it. Sometimes music can give voice and physicality to a repressed desire. In my experiences in club land, I have found that although bands with this quality are few and far between, they are there. These possibilities make seeing live music worth it. Sometimes the band itself doesn’t know that soul is the key to this. It’s not soul music per se, but the expression of the artist’s soul through the medium of music. A case in point is Jen Kearney and The Lost Onion…” Rodney X (NomaSonHa Magazine)

“Jen Kearney & The Lost Onion steer clear of trippy tricks. For them, it’s all about soul…” Kathleen Deely (The Lowell Sun)

“Kearney has pipes to die for. She can croon and wail and make every note carry more sincerity than a little musical note should have to carry. And, assuming she wrote the lyrics, she’s a damn fine lyricist too…” Tim Emswhiler (The Noise Magazine)