Their weathered, lived-in vocals carry a lot of charm. The general theme is made clear with the opening lyric, “I ain’t old, but I been around a long time/Long enough to know age is just a state of mind.” This is a pair of friends and some trusted musicians kicking back and laying down some comfortable grooves. The good times get put on temporary hold for the moody “More and More, Less and Less,” which offers a more sobering view of post-middle age decline. Not wanting to bog down in pessimism, things rebound quickly with titles that speak for themselves: “Sure Feels Good” and “Good as I Feel Today.”
Bill Kirchen, rockabilly legend and one of the fathers of Americana, is back with Seeds and Stems. The album could’ve easily been called Why I Love My Job, according to the artist himself in the press notes. “I got to write or co-write most of the songs,” Kirchen elaborates, “And record with some of my favorite musicians on the planet.” Back in 1972, as a member of Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, he scored a big hit with a cover of the old ‘50s tune “Hot Rod Lincoln.” A revamped version of that classic appears here, along with a slowed-down take on Bob Dylan’s “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry.”
Also slowed down is another oldie, Kirchen’s own “Womb to the Tomb,” one of several times he reaches back to the past. Another Commander Cody track (and one of the earliest Kirchen compositions) is “Too Much Fun, which sets a casual, fun tone as the opening cut. The main backing for Kirchen’s still-agile guitar work is Maurice Cridlin on bass and Jack O’Dell on drums and percussion. Seeds and Stems is out now on Proper Records.
Anyone after some good old fashioned blues, rock and roll, and a healthy dose of rootsiness should find a lot to like on Delbert & Glen’s Blind, Crippled and Crazy and Bill Kirchen’s Seeds and Stems.