|A great new release from an old master|
Several years ago I had the opportunity to hear Fred perform in a live setting, and I was really smitten by his marvelous, self-contained, perfectly-executed songs. Since that time I have been hoping that Fred would release his music commercially, and "Swimming with Tigers" was definitely worth the wait. His wit and wisdom are richly abundant in this record. The songs are funny, poignant, sad, and regretful, and they deserve to be heard by anyone who appreciates the wry and wistful observational styles of John Prine, Kris Kristofferson, Steve Earle, Townes Van Zandt, Jesse Winchester, Jerry Jeff Walker, etc. Fred may not enjoy their celebrity, but he definitely shares their ability to write darn good tunes.
|Clever and Whimsical|
This album is wonderful in so many ways. Kudos to Fred Knipe for writing the lyrics as well as the music--each would be a huge accomplishment on its own. The more I listen to it, the more I like it. In fact, be prepared for some lasting "ear worms"--think that is what it means when the songs play in your brain all day. Fred shows great wit, feeling and whimsy. I find his voice so appealing, and he is a poet.
Lisa S Heidinger
|How Does He Do That? |
Fred Knipe's work first came my way several decades ago, and getting this release is as exciting as hearing about a brand new Leonard Cohen or someone else Ive not gotten fresh stuff from for far too long.
What Fred's great at is encapsulating in his own vivid and unique words a more universal feeling: the title cut speaks to the "bucket list" mentality of those of us who can't believe we can qualify for an AARP card yet still feel like we're just starting out. His humor is quirky and entertaining without ever minimizing the realness of the thoughts and feelings we may be having.
That continues through every song. Even a light-hearted song about drinking too much of certain kinds of win carryings a deeply poignant awareness of the loss and ache that can emerge when unvarnished by life's distractions.
And one carrying gratitude to a woman for her unexpected love is what we all wish our men were thinking.
He's a wordsmith more than tunesmith -- it's lyric's I carry with me more than a certain haunting thread of song or a chord. That doesn't one bit diminish why I haven't taken it out of my player since I got it, which is that every time I"m in the car, rather than be plagued by thoughts or concerns, I feel like I'm being understood and entertained by a great friend. You can't help but feel good hearing this CD.
If I win the lottery this week, I"m buying everyone who reads this a copy of it! I promise.
Steve Chandler, author of over 30 books
|SOMETHING NEW UNDER THE SUN! |
The lyrics are both hilarious and touching! Has that ever been done before? Occasionally John Lennon did that, Dylan...who else? And the cooking little band! It's what Dylan's latest albums' band has wanted to sound like, rollicking along, tasty and crisp....TELL FRIENDS as I am about this album....they say, in music today, every band is just a cover band of music already done...NOT THIS ALBUM! Bravo Fred Knipe!
|Worth the Wait |
I was a big Fred Knipe fan years ago, and recently found him again. I have not taken this CD out of my car's player since I got it, because it delights me so. If I am happy, I sing along...if I'm worried, his light-hearted treatment of even serious feelings is uplifting and provides instant perspective. A wordsmith like few others, most all the songs contain a fresh and arresting turn of phrase that reminds me of quote I heard some 40 years ago, that "nothing can be said perfectly but once." I think he's found his, and used up a dozen other people's on this!