REVIEW – Tonedeaf

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TONEDEAF – December 2011

 

Opening with the cracking title track, local blues man Shaun Kirk lets loose with his first full length debut album, Thank You for Giving Me the Blues. A one man blues machine, Kirk discovered a love for music and particularly the blues as the result of a sport injury at the age of seventeen. Laid up in hospital, he wrote his first song while recovering. After getting out, he started heading to blues nights to really hone his craft. Thank You for Giving Me the Blues is the rather accomplished result.

 

Featuring seven original tracks and three very well chosen cover versions, this debut release is Kirk showing us what he’s got. On a vocal front, he’s has a beautifully restrained but powerful range, with just the right amount of a ‘too much whiskey and cigarettes’ vibe to it. He is also a great harmonica player, which is used sparingly but effectively on this release. Finally, he has a great tone and feel as far as playing guitar is concerned. “Steam Train” shows a man totally in love with the blues and being inspired by blues players old and new, from Muddy Waters right down to Eric Clapton and Kenny Wayne Shepherd.

 

“Drug Got a Hold onto You” has a righteous anger and fire that is remeniscent of some of the finest tracks of the blues genre and a infectious snap and crackle to it. Kirk proves himself to be a highly accomplised artist with a beautiful understanding of what he does and how to put his own sense of spin and style on it.

 

Out of the covers on this release, he does a sensational version of Bo Didley’s “Who Do You Love”, featuring local guitar great Lloyd Spiegel. For something different from the glut of indie, Triple J-inspired pop out there, this is a very enjoyable and refreshing listen from a very talented young man.

 

Reviewer – Neil Evans

 

Rating – 7.5/10

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