Bridget Kelly Band – Blues Warrior
Alpha Sun Records
Bridget Kelly gives us 13 original tracks and expresses her concerns for a number of causes in this newest CD. Tim Fik is again her guitar player and plays a big role in most of the songs. Mike Armbrecht and Mike Hamm share the bass work and Alex Klausner, Michael Barady, and Christine Alexander share the drum work. Chris Alexander also plays keys on three tracks (11 to 13). They all work well together and the changes between players is seamless.
“Lil’ Honey Bee” gets things kicked off for this two time IBC semi-finalist. Kelly offers up some impassioned vocals as guitarist Fik lays down some good licks. “Cabrini-green” is next up, a cool midtempo urban blues with a driving beat. Fik again demonstrates his prowess on guitar. “Stolen” takes things down a notch or two and begins with a wailing and moaning guitar intro that is a great hook to introduce a song with a gutsy vocal by Bridget about human trafficking. Fik again gives us a tasteful solo.
“No Good Man Blues” continues in a similar vein with a couple of extended solos by Fik and more big emotion by Kelly as she expresses herself on domestic violence. “Alone” comes up a bit in tempo and offers more stinging guitar with Kelly bemoaning a lonely life. Next we have “Trouble in Texas,” side-winding and slick Texas blues. The song is about a love who travels about and creates trouble as he returns to the Lone Star State. Kelly explains she is ready for him; the song reminds me of a Stevie Ray Vaughn sort of cut with the flaming guitar interspersed with a driving beat and strident vocals. Nicely done!
“Let Go” is another song about love gone wrong where Kelly and band offer another good performance. She gives us “Blues Inside of Me” next; we get another big cut with a lot of instrumental time and some sweet harp by “Little Mike” Markowitz added to boot. It’s a slower tempo cool blues that Kelly emote nicely on. Following that is “It’s A Shame,” a beautiful slow blues ballad where Kelly shows restraint along with the band and all do a fine job.
Drug abuse is the focus of the cut “Snow Fall;” a slow and dark cut about the plight of heroin users. “Nameless Nobody” gets Fik a lot more guitar time as Kelly gives us another darker cut. “Sugar Sweet Baby” gets the heart pumping a bit as the tempo moves into the dancing world and Kelly give an upbeat performance on this Southern/Texas rocking blues. The album concludes with “Chemo,” another cut taking us down; “Death comes knocking,” is the opening line and Kelly describes the fight against cancer. Fik gets more extended guitar time and there is a huge finish before a much more subdued outro.
It’s dark and mostly down stuff. Kelly wants to highlight a number of causes here, but the happiness expressed is far exceeded by cuts about desperation and problems. The last cut finishes with an expression of hope, but the album can be a downer. There is a lot of stuff to highlight causes like domestic violence, human trafficking, drug abuse and cancer, all part of the world we live in and Kelly offers support and help. There’s a lot of guitar work but Fik leaves some air between the notes and refrains from shredding (which I was happy with) and Kelly shows a lot of restraint as the topics are mostly ones where a reserved approach is called for. Kelly and band work well together and give us a good CD despite all the woes and despair expressed in the lyrics!