Kathy and the Kilowatts
“There is a lot of blues-rock around these days, but not too much of the “real” blues. This set helps to rectify that, and comes endorsed by bass player and label-mate, the acclaimed Benny Turner, who contributes to four tracks of this excellent release. A real winner, this album.”
-Norman John Darwen, Flying Shoes Review
“Kathy Murray has a way of finding the most low-down grooves around, and then gluing them together in the kind of barroom blues which is fast disappearing in America. Murray's voice is full of hard-won edges, and while it will never be mistaken for Adele's, that's not a problem when she has a band like the Kilowatts to make sure the music stays at the dark end of the street.”
-Bill Bentley, Bentley’s Bandstand
Kathy Murray’s foundation and evolution of music and songwriting, is deeply based in the blues, and also encompasses the influences of Texas regional roots musical styles, including, swamp pop, rock, zydeco, soul, rockabilly and conjunto. Murray, lead singer and songwriter, of Kathy and the Kilowatts has been making Texas roots based blues music for almost four decades and has helped to keep the spotlight on the Texas blues scene. One critic described Murray’s soulful, emphatic vocals as “the love child of Jimmy Reed and Wanda Jackson.” Another noted that her music “oozes Texas’ low-down smooth and sexy blues.” The band will be celebrating the release of Premonition of Love, on Nola Blue Records, this Saturday, April 21st at Antone’s Nightclub and Sunday, April 22nd at Antone’s Records.
Murray moved all over the U.S. before her father settled the family in Austin upon his retirement from the service in 1968. She discovered her older sister’s Elvis 45s and the blues-tinged country of George Jones and Hank Williams. The city was experiencing the first stirrings of what would become a vibrant live music scene. Experiencing the blues live at Antone’s and the Armadillo was a life changing experience for Murray. “The first night I saw a live band in Austin, I was 16,” Murray told the Austin Chronicle. “David (her brother, guitarist David Murray) was 14 and we snuck into the Armadillo World Headquarters where there was a triple bill of Storm, with Jimmie Vaughan, the Nightcrawlers with Stevie Ray, and Paul Ray & the Cobras. My little teen self was totally blown away!”
She also took a deep dive into classic recorded blues, devouring records by Magic Sam, B.B. King, Memphis Minnie and many others. She cut her teeth during the golden era of Austin’s blues and R&B scene in the 1980s and early 90s, sharing the stage with Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Albert Collins, Albert King, Koko Taylor, blues godfather W.C. Clark and others. She also took her place among a veritable Murderer’s Row of formidable Austin blues women, including Marcia Ball, Lou Ann Barton and Angela Strehli.
Premonition of Love, album credits include Sallie Bengtson (executive producer), Bill and Kathy (producers), Jeff Botta engineered at his studio, Single Pitch in Austin and Jack Miele mixed and mastered at his Music Shed Studios in New Orleans. Musicians on the album include: Kathy Murray (vocals), Bill “Monster” Jones (guitar, accordion, percussion, background vocals), Dylan Cavaliere (stand up bass), Richard Ross (drums), Jeff Botta (bass), Nina Singh (drums, percussion), Benny Turner (bass), Floyd Domino (piano), Matt Farrell (piano), Dan Torosian (sax), Eric Johnson (trumpet) and Kim Field (harmonica).
The songs on the album range from the Freddie King inspired blues of the title track to the Bo Diddley beat of “Answer Yes.” In between there is the prowling blues of “Final Verdict” to the horn-laced “Beggars Can’t Be Choosers,” reminiscent of the late Otis Rush and the glory days of Chess Records. The Texas-style shuffle of “I Got This,” the funky soul of “Always Fooling Me,” and the rabble-rousing rockabilly of “Grow Some” are all testaments to Kathy & the Kilowatts command of rootsy, yet modern genres.
Premonition of Love joins Kathy and the Kilowatts catalog and also includes Let’s Do This Thing, Relatively Blue and Groovin’ With Big D (dedicated to the late drummer, SRV songwriter and musical mentor, Doyle Bramhall, Sr.). The latter project actually has a long pedigree, dating back to sessions that Murray, along with longtime musical partner (and husband) Bill “Monster” Jones, cut with Bramhall in the 90s.
Kathy and the Kilowatts will tour the U.S., Scandinavia and Spain in support of the release of Premonition of Love. Kathy believes, not without justification, that even after a lifetime onstage and on record, the best days for Kathy & the Kilowatts are still ahead.
Nola Blue Records: http://www.nola-blue.com/nolablue-records.html
Blind Raccoon: http://blindraccoon.com/