Kenneth Norum “releases aching folk ballads for nomadic souls” says Kenneth in his press release. Well I’ve definitely been one of those although not so much just now as I’m glued to this chair making reviews for you but he got me onside with the remark.
‘The longer I go’ is loosely based on Jon Krakauer’s biography and the subsequent Sean Penn-directed film ‘Into the Wild’. The film chronicles the peripatetic life of Christopher McCandless, who donated his savings to Oxfam and hiked across North America into the Alaskan wilderness in the early 1990s.
Meeting numerous characters on the way he eventually concludes that true happiness can be found only when shared with others, and he seeks to return from the wild to his friends but is prevented from doing so by the wild itself, which turns against him. Eventually he succumbs to it, writes a farewell note to the world and crawls into his sleeping bag to die.
Sorry about the book and film spoiler if you haven’t read or seen it but I had to do justice to the song by explaining its background.
It seems that Kenneth, a natural storyteller, habitually writes about people who seek betterment, then find challenges they struggle to overcome but refuse to give up hope.
He’s obviously worked hard on his musical persona, identifying himself as someone with the same gravitas as John Denver or Glen Campbell. The word ‘timeless’ is often banded about in reviews but ‘The longer I go’ is just that. It would fit into any musical era from the 1960s to the present day.
I can’t help thinking it would fit a film score as well and the one I have in mind is The Revenant, or any book or novel concerning the story of the long distance trek of Hugh Glass.
And setting the melody to a banjo is a clever move, generating an image of campsite, wilderness and serenity better than a guitar tone could do.
Kenneth is also the producer and technician on this single, which is part of his forthcoming album. ‘The longer I go’ is available on all streaming platforms from February 2nd.
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