I have started several posts about the Dead Reckoners but never managed to be able to articulate how much they mean to us. We were fans of both Kevin Welch and Kieran Kane already when Ernie read that they were starting their own record company. This was back in the mid 90s and Ernie was ordering stock for a now defunct record store in town. So he called the number in the article and talked to somebody about getting some of their first record (Kieran Kane’s Dead Rekoning and yes it is spelled differently than the label). Evidently he was one of the first callers as the person he was speaking to wasn’t sure what to charge him. At the end of the conversation Ernie asked to whom he was speaking and the man replied, “oh, I’m Kieran Kane.” Ernie was beside himself and as soon as he had the record (oops, cd) he began playing it for everyone he knew. When Ernie’s in love with music he can be quite persuasive.

The first time we saw them was in Indianapolis. I’ve never seen Ernie so nervous about meeting someone. Ernie’s met a fair number of musicians over the years and usually is relatively calm about it. For some reason he was a jittery wreck and had me giggling at him. Of course nobody could have been kinder than all of them that night—-Kieran Kane, Kevin Welch, Tammy Rogers, Harry Stinson and Mike Henderson. Not long after that they came to town and played at an in-store and I cooked dinner for the bunch of them. It was at a time in our lives when we were relatively free so we trotted off to see them in Chicago, Indianapolis and Nashville whenever we could.

Well of course then we had a couple of kids…then Ernie’s bout with cancer…then aging parents, etc. So it had been years since we’d seen them. Last year I was hoping to get up to Fitzgerald’s but it fell through for one reason or another. We’ve never failed to get their latest cds and follow them as much as possible but we hadn’t seen them since before Leo was born! When we saw Kieran, Kevin and Fats on Friday however, it seemed as though no time had passed. Well we all look a tiny bit older (except for Fats maybe) and there were new songs to hear but it was as special as ever.

So, as I said in my last post, Friday night made Ernie’s heart light…..and my heart light. I’ve always had a soft spot for Kieran Kane but anyone who makes Ernie’s heart light has my undying devotion.

Ernie and Kieran after the show:


2 thoughts on “Dead Reckoners

  1. Hi Cynthia- I’m the Vertebrats fan who found your blog after the reunion gig. I’ve been lurking ever since. Your blog touches a nerve in me-I like the way you write, I grew up in Champaign & saw alot of the same music in the early 80’s so that feels nostalgic, I have two boys, one of whom used to really love trains. :)Plus we are now dealing with my husband’s aging parents here in Minneapolis. So I’m just lurking out here, living a parallel life in some ways and enjoying hearing about yours. I think we could have been friends if we would have connected in C-U way back when. Thanks for sharing your life!