Mother’s Finest’s Joyce Kennedy proves that rock n’ roll will never die in EP Rock’n My Soul. Rock’n My Soul is a tour de force in the rock/funk fusion genre, bringing together high-energy instrumentals with Joyce “Baby Jean” Kennedy’s powerful vocals and heartbreaking, confident lyrics. You can listen here.
The opening track, “My Bad,” quickly transitions from an engaging rock riff to lyrics that effortlessly blend religious imagery with the idea of rock as a concept. The instrumentals are extremely powerful, letting you enjoy beats you didn’t know you could feel. The choir confidently sings, “rock has entered my soul”, showing how it’s not just music, it’s a way of life and a belief as deep as any religion.
The second track, “Love Me, Love Me”, depicts a sensual image of the narrator narrating about the song “Love [her] all night.” The track’s funky guitar riffs and steady drums perfectly accompany the lyrics as we hear of this person leaving in the morning, but not unaware they’ll be back for another night. Kennedy is confident, and it shows in her strong delivery as she sings the sweet yet commanding lyrics of this track.
The EP’s third track, “Do Me Right”, changes things up sonically by introducing beautiful piano chords and relaxing synths into the mix. Kennedy isn’t shy about innuendo, with the refrain proclaiming “do me right/or don’t do me at all”. The choristers add an angelic layer to these seductive lyrics. A headbang-worthy guitar solo takes the reins in the second half of this track, accompanied by the funky drum beat that follows the rest of this song.
The fourth track, “Save Me”, opens with soft guitar chords, foreshadowing the overall lower energy of this track. The track carries the general vibe of a mid-2000s teen movie end-credits song with an ever-present, nostalgic, yet confident rock edge.
It’s a great emotional buffer before the penultimate track of the EP, “Funk A-While”, which has the highest energy of this entire EP. The lyrics dripping with desire and sexuality are layered with backing vocals that really give this song a personal depth.
The EP’s final track, “Tears of Stone,” drops the energy before building up to a final shot of greatness with a gripping rap feature. Truly the highlight of this EP, bringing together all the emotions established earlier and describing that lonely crash, that feeling when you need to cry but you can’t. The listener is picked up from its emotional low by the engaging feature, blending hard-hitting instrumentals with smart, relevant meter. This EP is truly a great example of Kennedy’s style and would be a perfect fit for any rock/funk playlist.
All songs written by Sandra St. Victor, Uwe Metzler, R. Sellier and Joyce “Baby Jean” Kennedy
Engineering by Glenn Murdock,
Background vocals by Naomi, Amazon and Ebony
Mixing by Adrian Porter
Super cool band formed in Atlanta in the 70s, Mother’s Finest made history as the first multicultural heavy metal band. But more specifically, Mother’s Finest is considered the quintessential funk rock band, thanks in part to the woman who, as co-lead singer, sounded like a hell of a roll: Joyce “Baby Jean” Kennedy.
Raising the spirit of funk rock fans to near-religious heights, Joyce Kennedy parted her lips in front of a microphone and something like a flash of soul struck a chord with everyone who heard her.
Joyce Kennedy has been a staple of the rock, soul and funk scenes from the young age of 16 until her current age of 74. Joyce Kennedy is the definition of an icon, having sung and collaborated with legends such as Alice Cooper, ACDC, Ted Nugent, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith and Earth Wind and Fire alongside Mother’s Finest, as well as solo artist.
Kennedy is still touring with her and her co-frontman and husband, Glenn Murdock, the legendary band Mother’s Finest, showing her dedication to her craft and the longevity her classic voice has created for her over the decades.
Joyce “Baby Jean” Kennedy was born in the Mississippi Delta and raised in Chicago, Illinois. Her singing career began at the age of 16, dubbed by Chicago radio with her first No. 1 single (“I Still Love You”) as “16 with a hundred years of soul”.
Joyce’s next No. 1 singles (“Baby Love” and “Love Changes”) came years later with the lineup of the funk fusion rock band Mother’s Finest which she formed with her husband, Glenn Murdock. As the vocalist of this unit, she earned the title of “soul rock metal funk diva” thanks to her approach to stage presence and vocal style. Once you hear Joyce’s voice, you remember it. He kisses you, touches you. She’s honest and makes you feel like you’ve known her forever. One minute full of rocket fuel, the next you’re enveloped in the warmth of his heart.
“The Last Time I Made Love” was her most successful single, reaching number 2 on the R&B charts and number 40 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Joyce Kennedy and Mother’s Finest are currently on an international tour.
The electric and iconic sound of Mother’s Finest leaves fans everywhere dreaming of the funky touch of MF. In Sweden, there has long been a graffiti wall that asks “Where is Mother’s Finest?” The answer to that is “in our hearts forever”. We waited so many years for Joyce to drop his solo music project. The wait is over and it was worth it.