RIP: Kimberly Kenny - 1968 - 2016
The beautiful woman above with the curly red hair is Kimberly Kenny, a dear friend and wonderful musician with the voice of an angel. You may not know her, but she touched countless lives with her passionate soul, songs and humanity.
Mrs. Crab first met sassy "Rock Star Kim" back in 2003 or so, through another dear friend, Angelina. At the time Kim was working in the corporate world in Washington DC, and rockin it at night in local nightclubs. Mr. Crab was completely mesmerized and enchanted with this chanteuse with her belting rendition of Susan Tedeschi's "Hurt So Bad!" We became Kim "groupies", following her every Monday night to her performances at the Majestic Lounge in Del Ray, Alexandria, Virginia when she was singing with the Joe Chiocca Band.
When we moved to London, Kim stopped to visit us en route to see family in Ireland. Later after breaking out of the corporate world, Kim left DC and moved to San Francisco to pursue her dream of a music career and share her gift of music and song. Mrs. Crab traveled several times to SanFran to see Kim & Angelina. Mrs. Crab recalls staying with Kim in her old apartments, in the Mission, behind The Lost Church and Russian Hill (it was at this apartment that Kim gave Mrs. Crab her first CD -Kim Kenny & the Otherlys- in a handmade cover from a recycled paper grocery bag - we have played it in our homes and cars all over the world). Kim and Mrs. Crab spent time talking about the future, taking walks together to the dog park with Kim's beloved pup "Bill Murray" and donating food to homeless people in a local park. When we joined the Foreign Service, Kim insisted on taking Mrs. Crab to the mall to help her pick out a whole new wardrobe. "A diplomat's wife needs to dress the part," she would say with her keen fashion sense.
Kim was the most embracing, non-judgmental person you would ever meet. She had the wisdom of someone beyond her years and somehow she always had the right words of wisdom or comfort. Although we were separated by distance, we saw and spoke often. En route to our second tour in Seoul, we made a point to stop in San Francisco and spend several days with Kim and Angelina. Our highlight of Summer 2013 was attending one of Kim's shows, where she acted and sang in a performance at The Lost Church in a musical.
In 2015, Kim released a new album with her new band, Kim & The Generations (singles available on iTunes and Amazon). Things were looking up for Kim. Then in mid-2015, soon after we moved to Calgary came the shocking news of Kim's diagnosis. But she was a trooper, and kept performing as long as she could. Kim was a fighter. It was a blessing in disguise that we were posted nearby, so Mrs. Crab could visit San Fran often. Kim's final public performance was at the infamous Great American Music Hall in August 2015.
Just before Christmas 2015, Kim and Angelina were married in Angelina's parents home. With less than 6 days notice from engagement to wedding and despite the busy holiday season, the happy couple managed to squeeze 100+ people into Angelina's family home for the wedding ceremony - a testament to the love and friendship surrounding these lovely ladies. "See you later!" we would always say and kiss at the end of each visit.
In early February, Mrs. Crab was able to visit Kim to spend some time and sadly, say goodbye. Last night, Feb. 22, 2016, Kim lost her brief battle with cancer. The world is a sadder place without Kimberly Kenny. We miss you and love you. We'll see you later. XoXo
Kim's last CD, "Kim & The Generations," is available for purchase at CDBaby:
KQBM public radio in California will and stream perform a tribute to Kim on Wednesday, Feb. 24 (replay from last week's show):