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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


Please email me at Info@Bmansbluesreport.com

Thursday, July 30, 2020

The Last Music Company artist: Bill Kirchen - The Proper Years - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, The Proper Years, from Bill Kirchen and it's strong. I'm certain that most readers know Bill but if not, he was the guitar fingers of Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen. That being known, you can expect that deep throaty telecaster guitar sound and rich country roots. Opening with Hammer of the Honky-Tonk  Gods, a swangin' country rocker with Kirchen on lead guitar and vocal, backed by Nick Lowe on bass, Geraint Watkins on bass, Austin de Lone on keys, Robert Trehorne on drums, Danny Levin on fiddle and Cindy Cashdoller and David Berzansky on steel guitar. Great opener. Working Man is a cool, country flavored track with solid 2 stepping beat. With great lead vocal and a really great bass background vocal among the others, this track is a standout. Remake of 60's pop hit, Devil In A Blue Dress, has a real bluesy feel with solid backing vocals by Sarah Carroll. Trish Anderson and Suzannah Espie. Kirchen puts on his best R&B vocal and slinky blues riffs. Acoustic rag, One More Day has a great light feel with stellar acoustic guitar riffs and fiddle (by Danny Levin). Excellent! A grungy rocker, Man in the Bottom of the Well features Elvis Costello and some really gritty guitar playing by Kirchen. This song is terrific! Commander Cody joins on I Don't Work That Cheap which is another terrific track with hints of Dylan and the Lost Planet Airmen. Very nice. On Disc 2, Kircher teams up with fleet fingered Dan Hicks on Word To The Wise. Cool lyrics, a great upbeat tempo and of course strong acoustic guitar riffs make for a great side 2 opener. Contemporary blues vocal legend, Maria Muldaur teams up with Kirchen on shuffle, Ain't Got No Time For the Blues. Breaking back to pure country and western on Tell Me The Reason. The is a great track with Kirchen on lead guitar and vocal, Jack O'Dell on drums and Paul Riley on bass and featuring Austin de Lone on piano. Really nice! Truck Stop At The End Of The World is a solid trucker song with classic Kirchen guitar riffs and a driving rock beat. Another classic and one from the Commander Cody songbook, Hot Rod Lincoln has great tempo and of course clever lyrics that accentuate the guitar riffs by Kirchen. Kirchen goes on to run classic country, Americana and rock riffs from the past. Cool flashback through music time. Country rocker, Oxblood has a really great feel with Butch Hancock on vocal with Kirchen who plays baritone guitar on this one. Balancing out the band is Gurf Morlix on guitar, David Carroll on bass, Rick Richards on drums and Austin de Lone on piano. Wrapping the release is Dylan's classic, The Times They Are A-Changin'. This is a complete album with few stones unturned. Well rounded with rock, Americana, blues and country, a lot of something for everyone.



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