Will the Real Dewey Please Stand Up?

Meet the Navigators (Independent)
Dewey and the Navigators

By Kevin Gibson

Dewey Kincade more or less disappeared from view - or at least from my radar -- shortly after releasing Who Are the Navigators? in 1997. The nomadic Louisvillian returned recently to the fraternity of current recording artists with Meet the Navigators, a stripped down collection of seven songs that succeeds in a couple different ways.

Kincade's songs have always been a little eccentric and more than a little eclectic, and his songwriting style has remained true to itself. But on songs like "Get Out of Touch," with its gentle harmonica and easy melody, one can enjoy the music without paying too much attention to the cynicism within the lyric. Kincade's unapologetic honesty in speaking his mind only adds depth you can't find in more guarded songwriters.

That the entire album (extended EP?) was performed on four instruments and with three voices only emphasizes the effect. "Here Comes the Hurricane" is particularly grabbing; Kincade's vocal is the highlight, riding on an almost grunge-rock arrangement with particular emotion. The great thing is, the track could easily have been a one-take, live-in-the-studio performance. Placing emphasis on performance over production works particularly well in the hands of a guy like Kincade.

Meet the Navigators? Seems to me we're still getting to know Dewey, the ship's captain. And the feeling I get is he's still the guy with both hands on the wheel.

(It bears noting that the track listing on the copy of Meet sent to LMN was aalllll screwed up. This review lists song titles as the lyrics seemed to match the titles provided. Dewey, if you were trying to mess with us, mission accomplished.)