George Kilby Jr review…02-02-13…

GEORGE KILBY JR

SIX PACK

TOP FROG MUSIC  GKJ 6 PACK

WHEN THE PEOPLE SANG–I LOVE YOU IN BROOKLYN–SOMETHING I CAN’T FIND–SUNSHINE OF YOUR LOVE–CRO-MAGNON MAN–YOU NEVER SEE THE HAND THROW THE STONE

Alabama-born George Kilby, Jr. has been playing what he refers to as “rough-cut American music” for some thirty years, mainly in a burgeoning scene in New York City that encompasses and encourages everything from roots to rock to Delta blues.  And, with the help of a few special guests, George utilizes that eclectic background to release his six-song EP, aptly-titled “Six Pack,” in which listeners will find songs that are borne of all his influences.  His long-time band, The Road Dogs, also add the sonic depth to this set, and include Neil Thomas on accordion and keys, Arturo Baguer on bass, and Eric Halvorson on drums.

The set starts with a cut that would’ve been right at home on a Dylan or Byrds album at the height of the Vietnam protest era, a tribute to a simpler time “When The People Sang and really gave a damn” in so doing.  It features Neil’s accordion and fiddle from Tim Carbone.  That muted accordion reappears in Neil’s original ode to a lover, “I Love You In Brooklyn,” and you’d almost swear you can smell the pizza from street corner vendors as George croons over the hushed backbeats.  The pace picks up considerably on “Something I Can’t Find,” with a double-barreled guitar attack reminiscent of vintage Allmans.  “Cro-Magnon Man” is a downright funny look at society’s fixation with social media as seen thru the eyes of prehistoric man, who “never checked his e-mails” and “never missed a meeting.”

Perhaps the two most powerful cuts are one original and one scintillating cover.  With the aid of Andy Goessling’s dobro and banjo work, Clapton’s “Sunshine Of Your Love” is turned into an acoustic, “blues-grass” affair that gives an entirely new spin on this psychedelic classic.

The set closes with a deep, almost spiritual-like Delta blues cut, featuring only George on guitar and vocals and Phil Wiggins on harp and backing vocals.  It is a poignant look at society, the economy, and religion entitled “You Never See The Hand Throw The Stone,” and is sure to evoke memories of Piedmont blues duo (the late John) Cephas and Wiggins.

It’s always a good sign when an artist’s set is deemed too short.  Such is the case with “Six Pack” from George Kilby, Jr.  His excellent choice of material and musicianship literally begs for more the next time around!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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