Kirby Sewell Band review…October 3, 2014

KIRBY SEWELL BAND

GIRL WITH A NEW TATTOO

SMELLY CAT RECORDS   SCR 003

THE DEVIL’S IN THE DETAILS–SIMPLY NOT ENOUGH–GIRL WITH A NEW TATTOO–CARRY ME HOME–STOP AND GO–$1.11–A BETTER REASON–KISS YOU TONIGHT–CRYIN’ ALL THE WAY–TILL THE RIVER STARTS TO OVERFLOW

Canada has seen her share of blues luminaries in recent years, so it comes as no surprise that Calgary’s Kirby Sewell is joining their ranks.  A dynamite vocalist, he has surrounded himself with a killer backing band for their latest release, “Girl With A New Tattoo.”  Here, we have ten originals that run the gamut from butt-rockin’ roadhouse blues to the gentler fare of perhaps the Eagles or America.  Joining Kirby are the twin-guitar attack of Morgan Turk and Neil Gunhold, Jim Johnston on drums, and Jae Cho on the bass.

That guitar interplay over Kirby’s big vocals is what gives this set that “it” quality.  The set begins with powerful percussion over the funky guitar lines, with Kirby issuing a warning to his lover that “The Devil’s In The Details,” and she’ll “have to take out a bank loan to pay back the wages of your sin!!”  The title cut finds Kirby admiring his lover’s tattoos, and the carnal urges they invoke.  This one is done over a stop-time pattern with really cool lyrics!”A Better Reason” and “Simply Not Enough” are two contemporary looks at love, while the blues-rock of “Kiss You Tonight” finds Kirby in a party mood, as he’s “waited all day to kiss you tonight!”  The set closes with a shot of pure Delta blues, as Kirby recalls a good time that quickly went south, so much so that he has resigned himself to “Keep Cryin’ Till The River Starts To Overflow.”

We had two favorites, too.  “Stop And Go” is full of carnal capers, as Kirby’s frustration builds as the object of his affection is full of nothing but teases, even as “my top’s about to blow!”  Morgan Turk adds a killer slide solo, as well.  And, the lyrics tell the whole sordid story, set over a chugging, freight-train boogie beat that lets us know that “I sold my soul for a dollar, my dreams for a dime, and my heart for a penny” leaving him with “$1.11, and looking for a good time!”

Kirby Sewell has a big voice that carries this material well, and the backing players know the sound he’s after, and they deliver in spades.  Hey–there’s nothing like a “Girl With A New Tattoo!!”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, Nashville Blues Society.

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