The Drifter Kings – Devil in My Kitchen
MoMojo Records, 2023
10 Tracks, 42 minutes
The Drifter Kings represented Central Ohio at the 2010 International Blues Challenge, and their latest release demonstrates the talent that sent them all the way to the Semi-Finals. This is their third album and features all original songs with Christopher Whitney on guitar and vocals, Tony Harp on bass and vocals, and Douglas Oscard on drums and percussion. The songs range from traditional blues to country-blues to blues-rock. And, with two singers, the album is able to offer a variety of vocal styles too. It opens with a blues number about how there’s not a damn thing a man won’t do when he really loves a woman, before switching to a country-blues sound for “Bottom Line”.
One of the best tracks on the album is a slow blues number entitled “Tumble Down”, which includes a beautiful guitar solo. Penned by Tony Harp, it emotionally portrays a man trying to salvage a doomed relationship. “We had a hard road left to travel and we stayed on course for much too, much too long. It was easy and it was hard, but mostly hard…What was built from bedrock is finally tumbling down. I tried and I tried from June to May to hold up these walls, you betrayed every day. I guess I’ll let it all go, let it all tumble down.”
The title track of the album, written by Whitney, utilizes the bass to offer a unique, ominous sound which also incorporates a spoken word technique in an eerie way. Additionally, it cleverly describes the devil in the kitchen who has “a fearsome appetite, with a dash of fornication and a sprinkling of greed…he wants to have me for dinner, but I think I’m too scared to eat…I’d better change my ways before I’m dead.” This track again highlights Whitney’s skill on guitar.
The remaining tracks continue to show the diversity of this band’s approach to songwriting, including an acoustic country-blues song, (“Stone’s Throw”), a very catchy rhythm offered in “Fox in the Henhouse”, and a driving drumbeat in the final song, “Orange El Camino”. This is clearly a talented band, with interesting originals, and their work is presented through a well-mastered CD. Listeners will likely be inclined to want to see this band perform live after hearing Devil in My Kitchen.