Beki Whins...

I remember discovering Beki Hemingway's song Sinsick on a sampler CD back in the late 90s. I loved it and played it on my radio show. When Beki got in touch to say that she was coming to Belfast, I took a chance and booked her for a gig. 

She duly arrived with her guitar toting husband Randy Kerkman. On her first evening my wife Janice invited her to sing for a Chaplaincy girls group in our front room. I remember standing outside the door listening to see what her voice was like. Was the risk worth it? And then… she sang… oh my goodness. What a voice!

Beki and Randy took a number of year out of music. Randy became a sheriff in Denver, Colorado. Then, their itchiness for adventure and inability to settle brought them to Wexford - well I did say adventure. Just as the music started to get its time again, cancer struck and Beki was going through surgery and radiation treatment. It has been a journey with a, thank God, healthy destination.

So, Whins and Weather has been written in a bit of a storm. My World Is Out There gets them travelling, The Shape You Left Me In and Is This All are about illness, Because is about the love, earthly and divine that gets us through it and Thank You For The Rain is the most joyous four minutes of thanksgiving you will hear inside or outside of Church in a very long time. Duke Special even makes a wee cameo in the wonderfully  quirky finale Tourist

Whins and Weather is the music triumph for a couple who have conquered some of life’s most serious gales. Hemingway has found her Americana space and moved into it. She has never written a more stronger collection of songs. Kerkman has has never been a more driving and at the same sensitive musical companion. 

Whins and Weather is a book of Psalms. There is doubt and hurt and faith and celebration. If Maria McKee had made the follow up to You Gotta Sin To Get Saved that we all wanted it might have sounded a whole lot like this! 


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