Endless Blue Sky is Kevin Kern’s first recording in more than three years and his ninth release to date. One of the most stylistically consistent artists out there, Kern continues his tradition of albums that overflow with warmth and optimism. In such globally troubled times, I find it amazing to hear music of such peace and calm and wonder if Kern is truly such an optimist or if he finds his own refuge in creating music of blissful contentment. (I’ll have to ask him in our upcoming interview!) In any event, sitting down with Endless Blue Sky is truly a spa for the mind and soul. In addition to Kern on piano and synthesizers, Dean Magraw appears on guitar, Jill Olson on violin, Rebecca Arons on cello, and Gordon Johnson on acoustic and electric bass. As always, the piano sound is stellar (Kevin Kern is a Steinway Artist) and the music creates a warm, enveloping atmosphere of tranquility. Endless Blue Sky begins with “Joy of the Journey,” a welcoming musical hug that sets the tone of the album. “Velvet Green” is a gorgeous trio for piano, violin, and cello. The simple melody evokes feelings of laying on one’s back in a beautiful meadow without a care in the world. The title track continues the mood, this time with guitar, piano, and synth strings in the background — undoubtedly a new Kern classic! My favorite track is “Sunset Prayer,” the only piece that hints of anything other than perfection. A piano solo, it conveys a side of Kern we don’t get to hear too often and that I wish we could. I’d love to hear a CD of Kern piano solos, but won’t hold my breath! “Scene In A Dream” is another potential Kern classic - a graceful flow with just a hint of bittersweet. “The Skipping Song” is pure carefree delight set to a catchy melody. My other favorite on this album is “The Glistening Pond.” It begins as a piano solo, adding guitar on the second verse, and then alternating between solo and duet. The sweet, simple melody speaks volumes and paints a tranquil picture. “Always Near” closes the set with an elegant and tender love song that sets the heartstrings fluttering - a gentle “farewell for now.” Kevin Kern is truly a master of melody and quiet emotional depth. You won’t find any surprises on Endless Blue Sky, but I would imagine that that’s good news for many of Kern’s worldwide fans. Sure to soothe and uplift!