Flyinshoes Review

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BILL KIRCHEN AND AUSTIN DE LONE —TRANSATLANTICANA (Proper Records)

 

www.proper-records.co.uk

 

Ace guitarist and vocalist Bill Kirchen’s latest venture is with his long-time friend singer-songwriter Austin De Lone; recorded on both sides of the Atlantic hence the album title Kirchen brings in a couple or so standards to go with material from de Lone, Blackie Farrell and a brand new one from Texas legend, Butch Hancock and one from his wife, Louise Kirchen plus others on this generous 14-song release.   

 

Kirchen and de Lone go back a long way, and with them backing the album with a tour in the UK the boys are serious. Underlined with the music taking in a little of America’s west coast vintage Bakersfield country sound as the heroic efforts and influence of Merle Haggard and Buck Owens is recognised in a song Kirchen wrote with Farrell “Hounds Of The Bakersfield”. You also have a couple of trips back in time as Merle Travis – Tex Williams’ barroom classic “Smoke! Smoke! Smoke That Cigarette” and Bob Dylan’s timeless, no matter whether it's a feel of joy or stubborn resistance “The Times They Are A-Changin’ plus from his days performing in the band Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airman “Wine, Wine, Wine” and a cover of r&b song “Losing Hand” (Charles E. Calhoun) from a record made by Ray Charles enjoy space.

 

Among the new songs Texas singer-songwriter Butch Hancock “Oxblood” takes some beating, but it doesn’t stop here! Coincidently Kirchen who sings lead is joined by Hancock (vocals) and with de Lone’s sweet work on piano and Gurf Morlix (alongside Kitchen who performs baritone guitar on this occasion) laying down some superb electric guitar music of another time is not only captured, but elevated.

 

Awash in great picking, varying in style from Kirchen’s west coast country twang on “Hounds Of The Bakersfield” to the funky groove of Austin de Lone’s superlative “Let’s Rock” and with class plastered in large letters all over it he again thrills on “All Tore Up” (it is one of those songs acts will clamour to get a piece of the action, it is the type of song that encourages stage jams). Recorded in London you couldn’t wish for a finer showcase number for all involved, de Lone, Kitchen, Mills and Riley!

 

Others include Louise Kirchen’s reflective “Back In The Day”, performed mellow fashion by her husband, Bill, and with a gospel edge to it Farrell’s “Somebody’s Going Home” lifts one’s heart. With vocals shared and additional harmonies by Louise Kirchen and Sarah Brown the song is another people are likely to want to cover, and or wish they had written. Light and breezy, straight down the line first class pub rock “No Need For Knocking” (from de Lone, who else) the first of two UK bonus tracks it paves the way for pedal steel (Bobby Black) warmed “Smoke! Smoke! Smoke That Cigarette”. With the boys swinging like crazy I can’t but help muse a western swing album from the boys would be a natural. Are you listening guys!

 

                                                Maurice Hope 

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1
Rod Picott
70 pts.
Out Past The Wires
Welding Rod Music
GC,AN,LM,SZ,TK
2
JW Roy & The Royal Family
62 pts.
A Room Full Of Strangers
Royal Family Records
EM,PJ,DH
3
Steph Cameron
61 pts.
Daybreak over Jackson Street
Pheromona
ML
4
JD McPherson
54 pts.
Undivided Heart & Soul
New West
AR,RK,LK
5
Sarah Morris
53 pts.
Hearts In Need Of Repair
Independent
 
6
Turnpike Troubadours
52 pts.
Long Away From Your Heart
Bossier City Records
MA,GF
7
Chris Hillman
51 pts.
Bidin' My Time
Rounder
 
8
Hayward Williams
39 pts.
Pretenders
Why River Records
KG,JB,JBO
9
Joe Henry
38 pts.
Thrum
Ear Music
 
10
Jim White
37 pts.
Waffles, Triangles & Jesus
Loose Music
JJ
12
Margo Price
35 pts.
All American Made
Third Man Records
 
11
Mark Martyre
35 pts.
Rivers
Independent
MF
13
Mavis Staples
32 pts.
If All I Was Was Black
Anti
HO
 
Peter Oren
32 pts.
Anthropocene
Western Vinyl
RB,HB
15
Fred Wickham
29 pts.
Mariosa Delta
Thirty Days Records
 
16
Jeffrey Martin
27 pts.
One Go Around
Fluff & Gravy Records
HDB
17
Blitzen Trapper
25 pts.
Wild and Reckless
Lojinx
JDO
 
Jeff Crosby
25 pts.
Postcards From Magdalena
At The Helm Records
FCE,FC,JS
19
Dori Freeman
24 pts.
Letters Never Read
Blue Hens Music
 
 
Hardpan
24 pts.
Hardpan
Blue Rose Records
WR
21
The Deep Dark Woods
21 pts.
Yarrow
Six Shooter
JF
22
Lilly Hiatt
20 pts.
Trinity Lane
New West
TJ
 
Tom Russell
20 pts.
Folk Hotel
Frontera Records-Proper Records
JAB
24
Eilen Jewell
19 pts.
Down Hearted Blues
Signature Sounds
MW
25
Dick LeMasters
18 pts.
Incompatible Things
Longneck Road Music
FS

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