I am going to confess to you that over the years I have sometimes been guilty of reviewing a lot more guitar based blues/rock CDs than other types in the genre. Some of this is because blues/rock music has always attracted a lot of guitar prodigies and wizards due to the energy level of the music among other reasons. However, my personal favorite CDs I have ever reviewed have come from by what I have labeled the “triple threats” of the genre: accomplished guitarists (or other instruments as well), high quality vocalists, and excellent song writers. The vocalist part seems to be what have relegated many artists to “double threats” only category. I had a really outstanding guitarist years ago ask me his honest opinion of his work, to which I replied “you need a front person to sing or you need to take some intense voice lessons”.

I will NOT be offering such advice to the Coralville, Iowa based blues/rock guitarist Kevin Burt, who is a bonafide triple threat. Burt, along with being an excellent guitarist, is also a very upper tier singer and songwriter. His vocals remind me in ways of Bill Withers while his music overall brings to my mind the style of people like Brownie McGhee and Keb Mo. These statements  are meant to be extreme compliments to Kevin Burt, as this is quite a remarkable artist.  This is someone I would love to hear live as I would have to imagine that he delivers outstanding live performances. His song writing is a particular strength for him and really sets him above many similar artists. Burt’s songs are very honest, intelligent, and entertaining. On his latest release “Stone Crazy”, Burt has enlisted the help of some truly great musicians and the end product is nothing short of outstanding. Burt recorded this set for the highly respected Gulf Coast Records label. The more I hear from GCR the more I am convinced that they are only capable of putting out high quality recordings. But after all, when your producer is also a guitarist at the level of Mike Zito you really cannot go wrong.

There is nothing about “Stone Crazy” to dislike. Every track on this set is extremely enjoyable and I do not find myself using the fast forward function at all while listening.  My favorite track on this set musically is “Something Special About You” and I would not be at all surprised if this song eventually gets a lot of airplay. This is one of those songs that just make you feel better after listening to it. It is a beautiful crafted song and so tastefully recorded by gifted musicians. However, the most powerful song on the CD to me is “Got To Make a Change” that has an Otis Taylor type feel to it. This song represents what a man with the gift to write and a voice to passionately deliver that message can create in a recording studio. The music on this track seems to me to be intentionally understated so that the lyrics and the heart of Kevin Burt can come truly through. This is absolutely brilliant. Like the rest of the CD, “Got To Make a Change” is quite remarkable

Kevin Burt’s “Stone Crazy” is a recording you are not going to want to miss. Please visit Kevin Burt online at http://www.kevinburtmusic.com/  to purchase a copy of this wonderful recording, which is also available at Amazon.com at this link Stone Crazy

The Band:

Kevin Burt-Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica
Mike Zito-Guitars
Doug Byrkit-Bass Guitar
Matthew Johnson-Drums
Lewis Stephens-Keys
Jimmy Carpenter-Saxophone

The Tunes:

01. I Ain‘t Got No Problem With It
02. Purdy Lil Thang
03. Rain Keeps Coming Down
04. Stone Crazy
05. I‘m Busting Out
06. Same Old Thing
07. You Get What You See
08. Something Special About You
09. Should Have Never Left Me Alone
10. Better Off Dead
11. Got To Make A Change

2020 Gold Coast Records

Review copyright 2020 Bluesrock.reviews


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