Alpha Sun Records 2016
14 tracks; 69 minutes
In 2014 I reviewed The Bridget Kelly Band’s previous CD Forever In Blues and complimented the band on an entirely original set of blues with excellent guitar, good production values and clearly sung lyrics. Exactly the same comments apply to the latest addition to the catalogue as Bridget on vocals, husband Tim Fik on guitar and occasional vocals are joined by a new rhythm section of Alex Klausner on drums and Mark Ambrecht on bass.
Hailing from Gainesville, Florida, the band has produced a solid set of original music, avoiding the frequent trap of making a rock album with hints of blues: this CD has plenty of genuine blues, witness the opening brace of “Gonna Stay Here” which has plenty of overdubbed slide and “Spellbound”, a classic slow blues with some sweet guitar from Tim. The band goes for some latin rhythms and Santanaesque guitar leads on “If You See My Baby” and although Bridget’s voice is less well suited to the higher register that the song demands, musically this is a definite winner. Time then for a shuffle and “Sweet River Blues” provides a bright tune and a solid vocal from Bridget, a song that sounds instantly familiar though it is another original. The slow-burning “Baltimore Woes” is the longest track here and opens with elegant acoustic guitar as Bridget sings of “fighting for glory, for the ones who do not care”, the song gradually building in intensity as bass, drums and layers of electric guitars add to the underlying tune.
After two rockier tracks the band uses the core riff of Howling Wolf’s “Smokestack Lightning” as the base for their own lyrics on “Up And Gone”, a device that works well as Bridget sings her lyrics and even uses a touch of Wolf’s signature howl as Tim adds some great slide work. The band pays appropriate homage to the original tune in the liner notes. A gentle ballad “Lonely Night In June” shows another side to the band and acts as a good interlude before the intense guitar intro to “When The Night Time Comes” which Tim sings in a gruff but serviceable voice. The fast-paced “Hard Times In The City” has plenty of good guitar work in support of Bridget’s vocal about the underbelly of the city before “Someone’s Hoodooin’ Me” presents a more standard blues ‘chug’ with a grittier vocal from Bridget that fits the song perfectly.
Once again the band has come up with a full album of originals and deserves credit for that. Plenty of real blues here and some fine playing – worth a listen.