It’s impossible to listen to his last recording, ‘Reckless Heart’, without thinking of Bap Kennedy’s sad passing in November last year.

It sits along side a body of work as a great legacy to his songwriting and story-telling ability. To my shame, I had only seen him play live once n 1993 in Hammersmith, where he supported Van Morrison and I’ve been listening to his solo work ever since.

I consider ‘Serendipity’ as the only cinematic guilty pleasure that I’m prepared to admit to thanks to the gorgeous ‘Moonlight Kiss’.

That said, Bap Kennedy does Americana as good as anyone and whilst he may have been born into a different “wild west”, his songwriting is as good as any of his peers and contemporaries.

‘Reckless Heart’ has achieved worthy ratings in the music press and it’s easy to see why. It is a beautiful and uncomplicated recording and one that you can listen to from start to finish, then immediately go again.

The opening track ‘Nothing Can Stand In The Way Of Love’ could easily be a Rodney Crowell cover and the opening piano of the following track ‘Good As Gold’ teases a piano that sounds so much like Crystal Gayle’s ‘Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue’. But it’s all Bap.

‘Henry Antrim’ is a punchy narrative to the life of Billy the Kid, and ‘I Should Have Said’ is one of those songs that you just know would have made the playlist for another great local legend, Gerry Anderson.

Anderson once described Bap as one of the best songwriters ever to have come out of the North and it’s hard to argue with that.