Music Reviews
Bill Kirchen

Bill Kirchen

Seeds and Stems

Proper Records

Bill Kirchen was a founder and guitarist for “we were alt-country before it was born” legends Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, whose mixture of country rave-ups, trucker anthems, and cry-in-your-beer ballads found a varied audience in the 1970s. Since then Kirchen has led his own band, filling halls with his brand of roots music, anchored by his incredible skills on his Telecaster.

Seeds and Stems revisits Kirchen/Cody classics such as “Too Much Fun,” “Womb to the Tomb,” and “Down to Seeds and Stems Again” with expected gusto from Bill and his band, bassist Maurice Cridlin and drummer Jack O’Dell. Recorded in a few days in between tour dates in London, the 13-cut record finds Kirchen as nimble as ever on the guitar and one of the last great truck driving singers around sounding as good as ever. When Kirchen slows it down on “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train To Cry,” he gives one of the more soulful renditions of Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited bluesy hallmark in recent memory.

By the time the record ends with “Talkin’ About Chicken” (here’s a tip – it ain’t about chicken), featuring Jorma Kaukonen on acoustic guitar, you’ll be sold on Kirchen’s sly wit and extraordinary guitar skills, and nobody is gonna think twice when you grab that PBR and let loose on a bit of “Hot Rod Lincoln”…

Son, you’re gonna drive me to drinkin’ if you don’t stop driving that hot rod Lincoln!


Bill Kirchen:

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