Gulf Coast (label)
16 October 2020 (released)
18 October 2020
Kevin Burt has been in the Blues game for a long while but this one may show him at his best. Production by Mike Zito is superb and really shows Burt’s vocal, guitar and harmonica to their best.
The thing is, this isn’t stock Blues in any way. His vocal style crosses over into soul and funk as well as having the right phrasing for jazz and his guitar style is anything but the usual riffmeister, far more a guitar picker and tunesmith and it sits alongside his furious vocals so well. He is also a really accomplished harmonica player but doesn’t overdo this talent so the times it does appear are doubly satisfying.
But the thing that really struck me about this album is his flexibility. He can rip out a Blues like ‘I Ain’t Got No Problem With It’ with a soft vocal and harp riff but he is equally at home with the title track, a slow love ballad with a distinct soul touch to it – think Teddy Pendergrass with George Benson on guitar – and then you find ‘Got To Make A Change’, a dark and brooding ‘look deeply int yourself’ type of number that has real impact and mood. Or ‘Something Special About You’ which is light and breezy while retaining a stronger sense of soul.
It wasn’t an album I expected and, having listened to it more than a few times, I do find it’s an album that has some real joys.
Top notch and a great listen.