Review by Wanda Callagy
Road Dogs, indeed. George Kilby, Jr. and his band the Road Dogs have lived up to their name, playing fine, handcrafted Americana songs Manhattan pubs to Denmark bistros.
Guitarist-vocalist Kilby doesn’t like categories when describing his music, though he admits his early influence living, playing and recording with the late Pinetop Perkins in Chicago left an everlasting imprint. “He was the music he played,” Kilby says. “He just played the truth.”
And it’s not surprising that Kilby considers his new album Six Pack to be some of the best music that he’s ever made.
All tracks feature George Kilby, Jr. & the Road Dogs:
George Kilby, Jr.: Lead vocals, acoustic and electric guitars
Neil Thomas: Accordion, Wurlitzer piano
Arturo Baguer: Bass
Eric Halvorson: Drums, percussion
“When The People Sang” (George Kilby, Jr.): With Jona Manson (elecric and acoustic guitars backing vocals), Tim Carbone (fiddle), George Breakfast (mandolin, backing vocals), Kevin Trainor (electric guitar) and the Children’s Chorus (Rosie Kilby, Caitlyn Bhend, Remy Kane, Sevran Kane). Opening up the CD, this tune blends voices and hopeful moments, remembering days when folks marched the streets in opposition to the Vietnam War. Not too long ago, unified for causes, folks seemed less afraid to be active about their beliefs. “People sang down deep in their souls…”
“I Love You in Brooklyn” (Neil Thomas): With Sam Doyle (backing vocals) and Andy Goessling (electric and acoustic guitars). In this tune, Kilby adds his southern drawl to a tale of love from Paris to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. Doyle’s vocals blend the sound that is so very easy to listen to.
“Something I Can’t Find” (George Kilby, Jr.): With Brian Shafer (electric guitar), Joe Andrews (electric and slide guitars) and Jerry Dugger (backing vocals). Smooth back-up riffs from Shafer add to that unique question each of us asks ourselves…are we all looking for something that “I just can’t find”…(because
it is already there).
“Sunshine of Your Love” (Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Pete Brown): With Andy Goessling (acoustic guitar, Dobro, banjo, backing vocals) and Bill Kelly (backing vocals). It took this writer awhile to get through listening to this. I think of this song only in terms of Cream playing it. However, this version of this well-known cover is done in good taste. Goessling’s banjo and the upbeat, shifting tempo with Halvorson on the skins makes it fun to listen to. Definitely a different take on this classic.
“Cro-Magnon Man” (George Kilby, Jr.): With Bill Kelly (12-string electric guitar), Brian Shafer (electric guitar), Sam Doyle (backing vocals) and Jerry Dugger (backing vocals). It’s a fast, upbeat piece featuring Bill Kelly’s 12-string playing. The tune almost gives you a breather.
“You Never See the Hand Throw the Stone” (George Kilby, Jr.): With Phil Wiggins (harmonica, backing vocals). Wiggins’ haunting harmonica and low, full background vocals on Kilby’s soulful tune makes you imagine that you might be close enough to touch that moment in time in Alabama, marching with others for equality and peace. The heat, the dust and the music soak right into your pores, making you want to be a part of that history.
Kilby’s Six Pack is surely worth listening to, leaving you a little thirsty and waiting for the next show on the schedule or a 12-pack soon.
Tags: George Kilby