Chera-Lyn Kennedy has a voice: a unique, smoky, bluesy voice that catches you up in its power and emotion and touches that place inside you that identifies with a great song’s lyrics and melody. Beginning performing on stage at the age of eight, Chera-Lyn soon became a sought after performer in Kentucky and Tennessee. Known as the little girl with the big voice, she was in demand for festivals, concerts, community organization and charity events, and as the opening act for many well known artists such as George Jones and John Michael Montgomery.
Appearing on stage from New Jersey to Nashville, and Michigan to Virginia, Chera-Lyn is a seasoned veteran of the stage. Her deepest musical influence has strong ties to the southern sound of country, both contemporary and original, with that Memphis flavor that has been missing from country music for some time. Add a healthy dash of Blues and that is the new flavor Chera-Lyn brings to the music scene.
Chera-Lyn’s talent and love of music are evident in her debut album, Blue, a collection of songs that addresses her more than considerable vocal range and control, blended with a unique genre of songs that encompass a wide range of emotions. On this album, Chera-Lyn also emerges as a songwriter, contributing her own unique perspective lyrically. “By contributing to the creation of some of the songs,” she says, “I feel like I’m exposing myself essentially as who you might see both on the stage and in my living room. I have had the humbling opportunity to choose from a wide variety of songs by exceptional song writers who have shared a piece of themselves with me. It is a huge responsibility to bring someone’s innermost thoughts and feelings to life and lay them bare for the world to see and judge.” She has done a remarkable job of breathing life and love into lyrics that make up an album with myriad colors and nuances.
The title cut on this amazing album, “Blue” is the song that started Chera-Lyn’s odyssey into this labor of love. By creating a different take on the original songwriters’ version, Chera-Lyn brought heartache to life in the fragile, haunting strains of the melody, combined with a track of “break your heart” music that envelopes the lyrics like a sigh. By building the song to a crescendo of musical and vocal heights, then returning to the original opening lyric, the song leaves the listener lost in the realization that Blue is a color so vibrant, it can break your heart.
Chera-Lyn’s songwriting skills brought “Dancin’ in the Kitchen” to life. Sunday “after church” dance parties with her own family in her own kitchen were the impetus for the inception of this song. “If you wanna eat, you have to dance,” was the theme for this impromptu family fun tradition that grew to include anyone who happened to show up for lunch and inadvertently got caught up in the joy of dancing around the kitchen island to whatever song happened to come up on the shuffle. By adding a feisty twist to the idea, she proves she’s young enough to be sassy, yet old enough to include a humorous look at life and relationships, and Chera-Lyn emerges as a songwriter and lyricist of noteworthy dimensions.
Much of the album is concerned with life: the good the bad and the ugly. Songs range from “Secrets and Breakin Up is Going Around,” which delve into those situations over which we have no control, to “This Far in Love,” with vocal duos by Chip Davis, and “I Can’t Love You Anymore,” which deal with the sheer emotional delight of falling in love. Perhaps the cornerstone for the album culminates in the ballad, “Behind the Garden Wall,” a tribute to sacrifice, hope, and dedication that reaches an intense emotional level by the simple eloquence of the lyrics. It is this song, perhaps, that chronicles Chera-Lyn’s own life: the sacrifice of putting her own dreams on hold while she supported fully her husband’s life’s work, the hope of fulfilling her own dream of becoming a recognized artist, and dedication to God and family that has been the anchor of her own existence.
No collection would be complete for Chera-Lyn without a nod to the Man upstairs. “The Miracle” is simply a reflection of Chera-Lyn’s own dedication to giving back to others. Perhaps it was the fact that her own early years were spent in service to others through volunteerism and support for such organizations as The Children’s Miracle Network, The American Cancer Society, Juvenile Group Homes, and myriad charities that left Chera-Lyn secure in the knowledge that one person CAN make a difference. “The Miracle” addresses the need to look at others and find a place to extend a helping hand or fill a need.
Outside the realm of music, Chera-Lyn has garnered awards from various avenues of her life. She was recognized by the Joint Sessions of the Kentucky Legislature for her volunteer work with at-risk youth and testified before the Kentucky Republican Caucus on issues that contribute to delinquency in youth. She was named Kentucky School Psychologist of the Year in 2004. Chera-Lyn was also named “Goodwill Ambassador for the Commonwealth of Kentucky” by the Kentucky Legislature and was awarded the “Kentucky Colonel” citation.
Chera-Lyn is one of those rare individuals who “walks the walk.” Perhaps it was the influence of her small town upbringing that has kept her well grounded. Perhaps it was the song in her heart that needed to be set free. Perhaps it is just the knowledge that one person CAN make a difference, that keeps her focused on those people and dreams that mean so much to her.
The music industry has a new voice: Chera-Lyn Kennedy, and she is all the colors of Blue.
No shows booked at the moment.