This is Kitchen's sixth CD - wow! - and the first time I have listened to his music or heard his name. So if someone like me, who dedicates big chunks of his life to singer songwriters says this, then you shouldn't be surprised to hear his name for the first time, too. The man is from Boston and his name is not even found in the two Boston compilations that came out a few years ago with the title This is Boston - Not Austin.
Indeed, Kitchen's music is not Austin, but like big parts of what is called the Boston singer songwriter scene, it is a combination of mainstream pop melded onto folk music. The guitar and voice is up front and present on all the tracks, and the music circles around luminaries of the early 70's like James Taylor and Gordon Lightfoot. But more than all of these, the range of his voice and his jazzy moods make Kitchen an heir to Stephen Bishop.
By the time disco appeared and music became more of a commercial than artistic venture, singer songwriters lost their appeal and their chance to have hits and make cash on their own. The only chance they have is that their songs are performed by other, more commercial artists. Record labels since the late 70's are looking for multi-million sellers, and not fifty thousand sellers. The result is that people like Kitchen, who could very well sell tens of thousands of CD's, sells a thousand.
I think that this CD could have made the Billboard top 100 in 1974, with very good reasons. The songs are quiet ones, like the ones you find on Leonard Cohen or Nick Drake CD's, and are suited for a nice romantic evening with your partner. The production is clear and intimate, and Kitchen's voice is communicative and warm. Add to this lyrics that make some sense - some are short stories, while others contain memories of adolescence.
Right Now is a very enjoyable CD that does not try to lower your IQ, or make fun of your intellect. It may not be a masterpiece or a breakthrough, but it is a great addition to any collection of Americana and folk music.
Page design by David N. Pyles