ReviewsTwangin'!

Bill Kirchen

Hot Rod Lincoln LIVE
Hightone HCD 8085

Bill Kirchen is the Truckdrivers friend. The King of Diesalbilly. The hottest guitarslinger to ever strap on the mighty TeleSaurus. A hero for our times. Rejected by Nashville because his ass is bigger than his belt-buckle, Bill Kirchen is the master of the Twang. Fronting a killer two-piece band consisting of bassist Johnny Castle and Drummer Jack O'Dell, aka Too Much Fun, Bill Kirchen straps on the worlds ugliest Telecaster. The neck has been replaced several times, its internal organs have been twisted, rewired, replaced, and prayed over so many times that the exact vintage of the thing is unknown. But it don't matter how old it is. When it gets plugged into the Mighty Reverb, the angels up in heaven lay down their golden harps and listen to its blessed sounds. Bill don't need no processors, midi jacks, effects racks or any of that fancy stuff. God gave him ten magic fingers. Fingers that stroke, bend, and tease pure joy from the strings.

A Bill Kirchen show is a magical event. He don't swing down from no ropes, He's not shot out of a cannon. No spectacular light show. The only fireworks are those that come from the band. The only smoke is the smoke coming from the fretboard of the mighty TeleSaurus. When you are a badass like Bill Kirchen, you don't need gimmicks. Kirchen's guitar playing was what caused Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen to achieve supersonic flight. Time has greyed the hair and expanded the waist size a little, but it has done nothing to temper the licks, passion, or fire of Kirchens playing.. If anything, it has added an esquisite taste.

Hot Rod Lincoln is an attempt to capture the phenomena that is Bill Kirchen live onto CD. It comes awful close, but seeing Kirchen live and being in the presense of the Holy TeleSaurus is the Twang equivelent of an audience with the Pope. The disk starts off with a truck driving tune, "Big Mack's Off The Blocks," with reverb-drenched guitar and some tasteful stunt dobro from Dave Giegerich. "Looking At The World Through a Windshield,"and "Womb to the Tomb" are some of the other 30-weight classics included. An eight-minute version of "Hot Rod Lincoln" pays tribute to Buck Owens, Freddie King, Earl Scruggs, Jimi Hendrix, Hank Garland, Lester Flatt, Johnny Rivers, Johnny Cash, Duane Eddy, Bo Diddley, and countless others. The sounds that Kirchen can wring forth from the mighty TeleSaurus amaze and delight.

Bill Kirchen is God. Forget about that Clapton. He wouldn't know a truckdriving song if a White-Freightliner ran over him. Kirchen also swings and does the classic country tunes. He can do Rockabilly. He can out swamp Tony Joe White. He can do just about anything and do it well. Get hold of this disc. After listening to it several times, you will find yourself calling up your local Truck Driving Academy and get yourself enrolled. Bill Kirchen is that powerful.

--Jeff Wall




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