Kevin Burt review….December 17, 2018…..

KEVIN BURT

HEARTLAND AND SOUL

LITTLE VILLAGE FOUNDATION  LVF 1025

DAY DAY–COME ON SEE ABOUT ME–THANK YOU–REAL LOVE–ELEANOR RIGBY–MAKIN’ ME FEEL–I’VE BEEN WATCHING YOU–I DON’T WANT TO SEE YOU NO MORE–NEVER–SMACK DAB IN THE MIDDLE–YOUR SMILE–WAKE UP, BABY

Talk about a trifecta–at the 2018 IBC’s down in Memphis, Kevin Burt won THREE awards, a feat unmatched in the 34-year annals of this competition.  He won in the Solo/Duo category, won the Cigar Box Guitar award for Best Guitarist, and the Lee Oskar Award for Best Harp Player!  Behind all that, he made his way west, ending up in San Jose at Kid Andersen’s Greaseland Studios, to record his debut, “Heartland And Soul!”  Kevin is on, obviously, harp, guitar,and vocals, and assembles a one-of-a-kind backing band.  How ’bout D’Mar Martin on drums, Jim Pugh on keys, and Jerry Jemmott on bass–yeah, the bass man on B. B.’s “The Thrill Is Gone,” and Gil Scott-Heron’s  “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” as well as about a bajillion other R & B classics.This is a fun set all-around, fans!

As you listen, Kevin’s soulful vocal delivery might bring to mind, at least to some of us old-schoolers, Bill Withers.  “Day Day” leads off, as our hero has to bail on a lover, because, “you just will not treat me right!”   Breezy, wistful harp spices up an ode to true love, “Come On See About Me,” and that vibe continues with a stunning tribute to “Daddy’s little girl,” and, more specifically, “Your Smile.”

We had two favorites, too.  First up, Kevin closes the set with a stone shot of Delta blues, done on acoustic guitar and neck-rack harp, as Kevin and his young lover are about to get busted—by her “daddy, comin’ up yonder road,” “Wake Up Baby!”  Our other favorite was an incredible acoustic read of “Eleanor Rigby,” a haunting, look at “all them lonely people” everywhere.

With three huge awards from the IBC under his belt, it’s no surprise that “Heartland And Soul” is such a powerful project.  Add in his strong ties to the blues, his family, and his community back in Coraville, Iowa, and Kevin Burt is one well-rounded bluesman, indeed!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

 

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