Bridget Kelly Band Review
Artist: Bridget Kelly Band
Album: Winter's Coming
The North-Central Florida based Bridget Kelly Band, two-time International Blues Challenge Semifinalists, have had numerous Top 10 RMR and APD charting albums over the years. Their latest release entitled Winter's Coming, marks the 7th offering in a catalog of all-original music albums.
Singer Bridget Kelly, teamed up with husband/guitarist/producer Tim Fik to form the Bridget Kelly Band in 2012, a quartet that continues to explore their musical roots as the band celebrates its 10th Anniversary. Drummer Curtis Lyons Jr. and bassist Greg Mullins comprise the band's vibrant rhythm section.
Winter's Coming is a blues rock cooker that clocks in at just over an hour featuring some serious playing from a very tight band that is locked in and grooving, all in support of strong vocals and a guitar player with one foot in the blues while the other is clearly influenced by some of the great melodic rock players of the 80's, creating a unique and memorable take on the blues.
Winter Coming Blues is a track that is reminiscent of Black Velvet in feel. A classic groove that never gets old when played by the right folks. It drives hard and delivers real blues rock in its rawest form. In a bit of an orthodox approach to this classic Mannish Boy kind of groove it is played as a minor blues which allows for a bit more color in the guitar leads that guitarist Tim Fik takes full advantage of, delivering an impressive display of chops and grit.
Whirlwind is another standout track that reminds me of the Freddie King classic Going Down. A driving 16th note pulse coming from bassist Greg Mullins that is locked into deeply pocketed drummer Curtis Lyons Jr. jumps right out of the speakers and pushes this track well into the blues rock realm. This is one that would be right at home on a Joe Bonamassa or Gary Moore record.
Heartbreakin' Blues and Poor Girl are my favorite vocal takes on the record. Bridget Kelly's approach on these two feels very relaxed and comfortable. Clearly this is a vocalist that has turned roadhouses into a blues party for a long time. There is a patience in her performance that is unforced, seasoned and quite appealing.
This record is pushing the boundaries of the blues and embracing many aspects of the rock side of the genre. Crazy Thang, Gypsy Blue and Out of Time are great examples of how a blues band can stretch into the outskirts of the genre while still being rooted in the blues like Led Zeppelin did at the highest level.
Travelin Bone has a classic 70's Southern Rock feel similar to Gimmie Three Steps, which was an unexpected and refreshing surprise. The following track Party Time is another one that is flirting with the Southern Rock side of things, in the bluesiest and fun way, similar to The Georgia Satellites approach to the classic 12 bar chord changes.
What I enjoyed most about this record is the diversity of the tracks. This is a band that seems quite comfortable with the many aspects of the blues. Moving gracefully from Southern Rock influenced tracks to the Classic Rock take on the blues that perhaps 70's era Johnny Winter would be a good comparison for and then full circle back to the straight stuff. There are moments that are hard driving, some funky, some dirty and some pretty, but all rooted in the blues. If you're a fan of a band that isn't afraid to push the boundaries of the genre I recommend you check this well performed record out for yourself.