Ivor S. K. review…May 21, 2017….

IVOR S. K.

MONTSERRAT

MONTSERRAT–DON’T SAY GOODBYE–AIN’T NO CROSS–I BEEN HAD–TAKE THE GOOD WITH THE BAD–IT’S RAINING–TAKE ME BACK TO NEW ORLEANS–MURDER TONIGHT–INDIANOLA–GOOD MAWNIN JUDGE

It wasn’t that long ago that Sydney, Australia’s own, Ivor Simpson-Kennedy, hit the blues ground runnin’ with his highly-acclaimed acoustic debut EP, “Delta Pines.”  He’s back with his first full-length CD, the all-original “Montserrat,” which features Ivor on all instruments, adding to the authenticity and stripped-down simplicity of the project.

The one-man-band lays down a stomping, percussion-heavy groove with an age-old “my baby done me wrong” so “I can go wild on my own,” “Don’t Say Goodbye.”  The album’s title conjures up an island paradise, but not everything is on the up-and-up always.  Be wary of what you drink and who you hang out with, or you’ll know “I Been Had.”  This one follows a cool reggae groove, too.  Ivor digs down into his Delta bag of goodies for a sweet story of sticking things out for the hope of future gains, learning to “Take The Good With The Bad,” and later offers up another shot of Mississippi blues, this time with a sprightly instrumental tribute to B. B.’s hometown, “Indianola.”

Our favorites leaned toward Ivor’s somewhat-darker side, save for the leadoff title cut.  “Montserrat” is a swingin’ number about that Caribbean hideaway, where you can go “sip that ginger beer!”  The other two favorites did have a bit of an edge to them, but in a good way.  “Ain’t No Cross” combines a “killer, dopehead and even a banker,” who all may take your money, but Ivor reminds us “I ain’t no priest!”  And, the set closes with a cool stop-time story of tables that sho’ nuff get turned, “Good Mawnin’ Judge!”

Like a modern-day, Down Under version of Gardner McKay, Ivor S. K. takes the listener on varied adventures in blues paradise as only he can write ’em and play ’em.  Let’s get on the big boat down to “Montserrat,” y’all!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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