Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Bill Kirchen ‘Word To The Wise’

Dieselbilly (a mix of country, blues, rockabilly and the odd truck driving song) legend Bill Kirchen follows up 2007's ‘Hammer of the Honky Tonk Gods’ with ‘Word to the Wise’. Kicking off with the twangtastic live life while you still can opener ‘Bump Wood’ Bill quickly reveals a dry sense of humour (the bumping wood bit refers to the noise your elbows would make when you’re lying in your wooden overcoat). It’s an opener that puts you straight at ease drawing you in the rest of the album like a moth to a flame. Bill’s called in a few friends along the way to help him out. ‘Man in the Bottom of the Well’ makes great use of Elvis Costello’s distinctive vocals whilst Merle Haggard’s ‘Shelley’s Winter Love’ unites Nick Lowe and Paul Carrack for a tear jerking duet in the finest country tradition. The slow burning, bluesy ‘Time Will Tell The Story’ is another instant highlight, employing a subtle gospel feel that neatly underpins its subject matter of industrial and economic decline that’s currently driving large sections of the western world to mutter the odd prayer or two. A smile’s never far away on this album though and ‘Word to the Wise’ (featuring some fine scatting from Dan Hicks) is a good vibes, if you can’t say nothin’ good, don’t say nothin’ at all track that rattles along nicely before ‘Ain’t Got Time for the Blues‘ (can there be anything more blues than not having time for the blues?) conjures up smoky late night bars and that feeling of one more for the road (echoes of ‘Georgia On My Mind’ there too if I’m not much mistaken). Word to the wise...if you like your honky tonk, country and blues this album’s well worth seeking out.

‘Word To The Wise’ is out 19th July 2010 on Proper Records

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