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Ken Hensley struggles to soar on posthumous album My Book Of Answers

My Book Of Answers finds former Uriah Heep keyboard player Ken Hensley signing off with well-meaning curiosity

Ken Hensley - My Book Of Answers
(Image: © Cherry Red)

Much-travelled Ken Hensley, an ex-member of Uriah Heep, Blackfoot and more, completed this album shortly before he passed away last November at the age of 75. A further, unrelated collection, recorded prior to My Book Of Answers, is due for release later this year. 

Hensley’s final project is something of an anomaly. Following a random meeting at Alicante Airport, while in lockdown he formulated rock songs around the poems of Vladimir Emelin. With his Russian collaborator a non-English speaker, the process became even more complicated.

After 55 years of familiarity, Hensley’s voice is comfortable and easy on the ear, and his command of the Hammond organ and slide guitar effortless. He does a better than expected job of bringing Emelin’s poems to musical life, with the Heep-esque Cover Girl and The Darkest Hour among its highlights. 

However, the often stilted-sounding results struggle to overcome the hurdle of the circumstances in which they were made.