FAME Review: George Kilby Jr. - Six Pack
George Kilby Jr. - Six Pack

Six Pack

George Kilby Jr.

Available from George Kilby, Jr's online store.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

As the skew to an increased favoring of EPs branches out and diversifies, the practice is gaining noticeable gravity, this release among those normalizing what was once a chancy affair. Six Pack is being run as a blues package, but it's actually dominantly countrified folk. George Kilby Jr. has paid his dues, though, there's no doubt about that, having served a long stint with the legendary Pinetop Perkins (one of the people for whom the term 'legendary' really and truly applies), woodshedding and schoolboying as every true blues player should. Kilby has an easy voice, Jimmy Buffetish when looked at sideways, and languid playing style, mellow even when propulsive, and much of this work reminds one of early Jefferson Airplane with some of the later Paul Kantner, and various elements of that era. The opening cut, The People Sang, is a prime example. Then the tongue in cheek Cro-Magnon Man is another, with the added bonus of Ray Stevens type lyrics. In fact, Kilby later takes Cream's Sunshine of your Love, a song now in danger of being much too overdone, and gives it a 'grass treatment' much like what The Moody Blues have twice enjoyed by those way the hell cool Nashville Tribute CDs.

George's version rescues the originally psychedelic composition from what has been a far too faithful modelling process elsewhere (Jack Bruce ironically the worst offender), spinning it to become much like Blind Faith's (Cream's successor group) Can't Find my Way Home, recessing the repeating signature chords until they serve as mere refrains, allowing the rest of the tune to finally emerge, something it's been waiting to do for decades now. In fact, Kilby's more upbeat re-take is quite similar to what James Lee Stanley & John Batdorf crafted with Doors and Rolling Stones songs, CDs that went over very well indeed. As with Stanley & Batdorf, you've never heard pickin' 'n grinnin' to Cream like this.

You Never See the Hand Throw the Stone is the real blueser here, though, a tribute to MLK Jr. amid a reflection on the human dilemma in an Elvin Bishop-esque mode with just three instruments: cool-ass guitar playin' (Kilby), a chuggin' wailin' harp (Phil Wiggins), and the human voice (both guys). Don't let that breezy back porch approach fool ya, Ezra, 'cause there's some solid commentary here, and, hey, wanna skip down Memory Lane a bit? Here's the guy's video for the EP's lead cut, and it's a real pleasure to watch:

Brings back a lot of memories for those of us who actually lived the hippie ethos, don't it? Yep, a little memento as we and the rest of the Boomers trundle towards the tar pits. If this is the soundtrack to that journey, I ain't gonna be complaining one little bit.

Track List:

  • When The People Sang (George Kilby Jr)
  • I Love You In Brooklyn (Neil Thomas)
  • Something I Can't Find (George Kilby Jr)
  • Sunshine Of Your Love (Bruce / Clapton / Brown)
  • Cro-Magnon Man (George Kilby Jr)
  • You Never See the Hand Throw the Stone (George Kilby Jr)

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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