Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Music Reviews: Kurt Baker - "Want You Around"

What can be said about Kurt Baker that hasn't already been said? This guy is a modern day version of what was so great about late 70's early 80's post punk and new wave mixed in with major amounts of power pop for added effect. And you can hear this all over Kurt's latest 7" EP called "Want You Around" (out now on Jolly Ronnie Records).

This amazing EP opens with the title track. This is another great example of Kurt having fun and sharing it, via song, with all his fans. It's well written and has all the tell tales that this was written by the man himself. It's got a great beat, great harmonies and back-up vocals supplied by the one and only Dan Schafer. The guitar solo has a killer feel to it thanks to Geoff Useless. If you liked his last album "Rocking For A Living", you'll LOVE this song. This tune has my stamp of approval all over it. Great song.

The other 3 tunes are not originals, but instead are covers by bands and artists that have left an obvious mark on Kurt and his style of playing. The cover of The Vapors "News At 10" is a prime example of taking an already great tune and making it CLASSIC! Kurt really takes this long lost gem and makes it his own with excitement and great playing. The same can be said about "Sleeping With The Television On", the deep cut from Billy Joel's classic album Glass Houses. Kurt's cover is spot on. If you blink you'll actually think it's Billy's version. Big props go to Kris "Fingers" Rogers for his wonderfully charismatic piano work here. The band really make this song pop as a stand out track for no other reason than it's NOT something you would expect from a Kurt Baker release. So, little surprises like this really make the record for me. Great pick guys!

Anyone who knows Kurt Baker KNOWS this guy's a huge Thin Lizzy fan. So why not cover a Lizzy tune? It's not an obvious choice like "Jailbreak" or "Cowboy Song". Instead they whip out a straight up, meat and potatoes ROCKIN version of "Hollywood (Down On Your Luck)". The band (Kurt vocal/bass, "Fingers" keys, Geoff guitars and Adam Cargin drums) really take control and it's full speed ahead tearing through this song like there's no tomorrow. Phil Lynott would be proud if he heard this version. I have a feeling he's looking down smiling right now! 

As much as I love Kurt and his love for all things power pop and straight ahead rock, I wanna hear more originals. But from what I've heard, his up coming full length is gonna blow minds! So, this is a damn good record to hold us over until the new album drops. I've said it before, I'll say it again...Kurt Baker has a a lot to bring to the music world. And I feel this guy's gonna be BIG at some point. He's a super nice guy and I wish him and the band all the best with the new album.

4 / 5 stars

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