Brittany Kennell: Live in Vienna, VA

Brittany Kennell

It has been an amazing journey witnessing the emergence of Beaconsfield, QC artist Brittany Kennell. As Habs fans, we first discovered Brittany on our television screens during broadcasts of Montreal Canadians home games, belting out the national anthem with such a powerful vocal range prior to the puck drop. We purposely selected the Canadian feed for the stream when possible, to ensure we could hear the performance as opposed to seeing the network cut to commercials.

We were equally delighted to learn of Brittany’s blossoming musical career as a country artist, with her outstanding 2021 “I Ain’t A Saint” debut album being featured here on our pages. This collection of ten original songs easily separated themselves from an overcrowded female country singer-songwriter pack, and my Spotify Year End Wrap agreed, telling me that Brittany’s debut was my third most-streamed album for that year. 

Brittany Kennell

Here in 2023, new singles have followed (including the tongue-in-cheek “House And A Dog,” featured on GDW back in February), and with the most recent news of a sophomore album likely being released early next year, we keep getting our Brittany fix – the latest shot coming just last week with a performance at Jammin’ Java in VA as the support act for Ariel Posen. We had our tickets for Ariel’s show purchased when first going on sale, and sense that fate clearly intervened when Brittany’s name was subsequently added to the tour following that purchase.

“Hello Virginia, how are we doing tonight,” Brittany asked when kicking off the evening’s music. “I’m from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, by way of Boston and Nashville. I spent about 8 years in Nashville and 10 years overall in the States, and it’s tough some days being away from my family for that long.” Adding that she wanted to write a song to reflect such feelings – “but in a more joyful, upbeat way” – Brittany commenced with a pair of unfamiliar tunes (possible new album material?) and had no difficulty earning the attention of the Java faithful.

Brittany Kennell

With her brand of music contrasting considerably to the soul-blues-rock of the headliner, Brittany was happy to address the room about this. “You’re probably wondering what I’m doing here, and why I’m on tour with Ariel [Posen]?  I’m so grateful that he took me out on this stretch. I just did the UK [tour] with him, and we’re doing some more US dates down south in December,” she stated. “Ariel produced my forthcoming album, so we got to work together in the studio and I figured I’d play one of those songs tonight.” Sharing the new tune, titled “One Trick At A Time,” Brittany would add “it’s just about taking love and alcohol in the same night, but just a little bit cautiously.”

Brittany Kennell

With the standard 30-minute time slot at her disposal, Brittany allowed herself just one opportunity to draw upon material from her debut album, opting to share “You Don’t Get Me Stoned” – her accompanying tale about the song being a metaphor for the end of a relationship leading to some chuckles around the room. And turning full circle, Brittany would also perform “House And A Dog” – where her adamant refusal to conform was now juxtaposed with her recent romantic engagement. “Well, I wrote this song a little bit before I met my fiancé, and I feel bad still playing it,” she commenced. “But before I met him, I was so fed up of everybody asking me ‘when are you going to meet somebody’ and ‘when are you going to get married?’ And I was like, ‘I don’t know these things.’ So, I told my family and my friends to stop asking me, because at this point, I’m going to get a house and a dog, and that’s all I’m gonna need.”

Brittany Kennell

Wrapping up the performance with her latest single, “Wait On You,” Brittany was once again eager to share her story behind the song. “It’s all about chasing your dreams, but not waiting around on anybody when it comes to love, when it comes to your career, when it comes to life,” she professed. “[About] doing what you want to do, life is short, you’ve gotta make sure you’re not waiting around on anybody to make things happen. You’ve gotta make things happen for yourself. Thank you, guys. Thanks Vienna. This has been awesome.”

Set List:

  1. Drawn to ya (sic)
  2. Wallow (sic)
  3. années (sic)
  4. House And A Dog
  5. You Don’t Get Me Stoned
  6. One Trick At A Time
  7. Together We’re Rich
  8. Wait On You

The British guy that crossed the ocean and crash landed in central Pennsylvania (to quote Greg Keelor, “And I wonder what am I doing here?”). As the youngest of four siblings, exposure to music from a very early age nurtured my passion and appreciation for many musical genres. Continuing to discover some amazingly diverse and talented musicians based in Canada, I gravitate to live music experiences and remain devoted to spreading the word about such a vibrant music scene.

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