Steve Kilpatrick should be featured as an amazing guitar player, a unique song craftsman, and an arranger. Unfortunately, he has not been "discovered". He hails from Lansing Michigan where he has worked at a variety of non-music related jobs while playing music at every opportunity. He has played literally thousands of gigs as a guitarist/sideman over the past three decades honing his skills. So why review his homegrown CD? Steve contacted me and offered to send me "Westside Crop Circles" to listen to. Not necessarily to be reviewed, but just an offer to share what he had recorded showcasing his writing, production, and performance. I am so pleased that he did--I found it fascinating. It is a diverse collection of songs all uniquely Steve Kilpatrick. All songs, instruments and vocals are Steve.
The CD opens with the tongue in cheek "Brothers-In-Law". In this minor keyed rockabilly flavored tune, Steve tells us in reverb drenched vocals how he misses his old brother-in-law who spent everyday with him hanging out, discussing the world, drinking enough to be lit for his sister's arrival home from work to make dinner. Clean sparkling guitar solos and fills abound throughout. The guitar work is reminiscent of Mark Knopfler but uniquely Steve's.
Jazzy descending guitar opens "Bruno" which quickly evolves into a surreal jazz based diatribe in a degenerating flanged vocal about a car salesman who is listening to sales training tapes. It has a very urban feel and would be comfortable with artists from Zappa to Ken Nordine.
"Bigplan" has many different aspects from multi-tracked vocals with beach boy harmonies to gorgeous guitar work with a new age feel. Steve tells about love he expounds for Caroline. The most interesting thing for me is the minimal percussion and other backing instruments yet the sound is full and calculated to be so.
Sounding sinister and yet inviting "Multi-Generational" features brilliant guitar work interspersed with chain-gang rhythms. Filtered voice, barking sounds, handclaps, and synthesizer create the backdrop for a showcase of bluesy solo work as the song fades in the end.
"Adjustments" illustrates the art of Steve as he discusses the frustration of and closeness of a mom's breast feeding a baby. Keyboards, acoustic and electric guitars have a new age feel while reaching out into new ground.
The tongue in cheek "Conjugal Visit" is driven by slippery bass, reverb drenched bluesy guitar, and minimal percussion. The catchy guitar solos will find you hitting the repeat button so you can listen over and over.
The beautiful "Smell That Rainbow" captures you with beautiful unaccompanied guitar solo work. It blends into the humorous "Me and Oprah, My Pajamas & the Pain" as Steve delivers jest via a slow beautiful blues song.
The finger popping "Rough & Tough" is a cute song about diapering a senior citizen [he has cared for a Alzheimer's and dementia ridden loved one]. He says she is "rough - tough and hard to diaper her flying hostile feet kick out at the air". Quirky keyboards mesh with Elvis-like vocals.
Pretty acoustic guitar opens "Me & The Bank" which parodies the bank owning more that the loan recipient of car, home, energy and all. This short commentary makes it's point both musically and in content.
"Old-People Hours" laments getting old with a jazzy feel. The fit and finish of the tune belie it's complexity as it is easy to listen to and yet is quite difficult to perform.
The CD closes with "The Lonely Tonight" with Pat Metheny influenced guitar work. Steve vocalizes "One fifth--two pints--three sticks of dynamite couldn't blast out the lonely tonight."
Steve Kilpatrick deserves to be taken to the next level--promoted, and listened to by a large audience. He has much to offer. Given that this work was done on a personal budget, on time away from work, and without the benefit of sidemen, I can only imagine what the result would be if Steve Kilpatrick had a real opportunity. You can read more about Steve at his personal web site, www.steve-kilpatrick.com. You can find him playing with friends around the Lansing Michigan area. Check Steve out and I hope a visionary label executive reads this review and gives him the break he so richly deserves. ~ steve ekblad audiogrid.com
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