NPR Slingshot is our way of boosting emerging artists from “small clubs to the Tiny Desk Concerts” and beyond. Throughout 2018, new artists were selected based on the nominations NPR stations across the country. And here at WGBH, we've been fortunate enough to host a number of them including Jamila Woods, The Shacks, Brent Cowles and Boston’s own Sidney Gish in our Fraser Performance Studio for our Front Row Boston: Live at Fraser series. There are more to come in 2019, but let's get back to 2018's artist of the year.
NPR Music’s Stephen Thompson wrote that Kennedy has “a voice built to fill stadiums”. We were fortunate enough to see that first-hand when he stopped by WGBH’s Fraser Performance Studio on a blazing hot August afternoon in 2018 to perform a powerfully intimate set featuring two songs on guitar and two on piano. The moment he began to sing we were left with that same jaw-dropping feeling.
But don't take our word for it, you can watch the video below.
Kennedy came back to Boston in October for a one-of-a-kind performance at the Royale. The packed house was struck by the fire in his soul and the unfiltered honesty in his lyrics the moment he took to the stage and began to sing.
Beguiling audiences has never been difficult for Kennedy. His performances cover a wide spectrum. Celebratory and solemn. Playful and serious. Analog and electronic. It's no secret that he's fascinated by extremes, and he is well on his way to doing some pretty special things in music.
The show was on October 29, 2018 and photographed by Michael Last. You can check out the full gallery below.
We'd like to congratulate Kennedy and all of the Slingshot artists who produced almost 5000 votes from around the country. You can check out who finished in the poll's Top 10, and stay tuned as we unveil what’s in store for Slingshot in 2019.