Alpha Sun Records 2014
15 tracks; 71 minutes
North Florida’s Bridget Kelly Band consists of Bridget on vocals, Tim Fik on guitar and occasional vocals, Michael Barady on drums and Mike Hamm on bass. All the material on this generously filled CD is original, written by Bridget and Tim. The band has shared the stage with the likes of Albert Castiglia, Victor Wainwright, Brandon Santini and Jeff Jensen and pay tribute to that ‘next generation’ of blues stars in the sleevenotes.
The CD is well produced (by Tim) and the guitar is particularly well played, Tim demonstrating tasteful tone throughout. Bridget’s voice lacks a wide sonic range but is clear and the lyrics are easily understood; she also avoids the trap that many female vocalists fall into of resorting to shouting.
Opener “I’ll Be Missin’ You” sets out the stall with some searing guitar licks over a steady rhythm section. “Blues In The Kitchen” follows a similar approach but has more interesting lyrics, the usual clichés of kitchens (dirty dishes in sink, floor needing sweeping) being related to the absence of a good man, Tim contributing a fine, chopped solo.
“Texas Toast” opens with some more fluid and expressive guitar before taking the food/love analogy further on an extended slow blues: “I was your bread and butter, I treated you like gold; you’ve burned me for the last time, baby I ain’t no Texas toast”.
To ensure that we all get where the band is coming from no fewer than six tracks contain the word blues in the title. In fact “I’ll Take The Blues” has something of a latin lilt to it, especially in Tim’s great guitar on the track, and it’s one of several standout cuts here. If a rocking blues is more what you fancy, try “Take Me Home Blues” for size.
Title track “Forever In Blues” is a slower tune, the rather downbeat lyrics being well matched by the music as Tim wrings out some very ‘blue’ notes from his guitar. The jump style tune “He Lied To Me” makes a good change of pace, not that far removed from Tampa Red’s “Don’t You Lie To Me” and the chugging rhythm of “Goin’ To Memphis” sets the toes tapping.
“Tall Man” changes the lyrical focus with tales of making deals with the tall stranger “at the crossroads in Mississippi where you hear that black cat moan” – “that’s where you find him, the keeper of lost souls”, Tim taking an extended solo which ranges across the frets impressively. The longest track here is “Everyday Without You” brings Tim to the vocal mike as well as contributing some more excellent guitar on a grinding slow number. Tim also shares vocal duties with Bridget on “When The Blues Come Around” to provide a good, upbeat close to the album.
Overall a solid CD with plenty of good guitar which should appeal to many blues fans out there. All credit to the band for going for all original material rather than slipping in a few of the old warhorses – good to hear.