Bill Kirchen “The Proper Years” (The Last Music Co, 2020)

Before hearing this double album I was unaware of the existence of the rockabilly hall of fame, so these 25 tracks have been not only a pleasure but an education. Bill Kirchen began in the ’70s with Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen opening for bands such as Grateful Dead and The Allman Brothers. This band boasts not only 23 albums, 12 singles and 4 chart entries, but to be cited as an influence by heavy-hitters such as Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. Put simply, Bill Kirchen plays the guitar, and he plays it a lot. Kirchen’s style has been called “one of the most distinctive, pure-Fender Telecaster tone guitar sounds in modern music” by The Rockabilly Hall of Fame. The story goes that he plays a pretty sunburst 1959 Telecaster that he got in 1967 when he swapped his Gibson SG with a random on a bus; The rest is not history. Guitar Player magazine dubbed him “The Titan of The Telecaster” after he “played the heck out of his guitar” in New Haven. Continue reading “Bill Kirchen “The Proper Years” (The Last Music Co, 2020)”

10 Americana songs about cars

Cars have always featured in American music right from the very first widespread recordings made in the ‘20s. The reason for this is fairly mundane, America is a big country and over the decades economic forces have required ordinary people to move and the car played an obvious part in this. Due to the size of the internal market, car and petrol prices in America have always been cheaper than those of Europe. Continue reading “10 Americana songs about cars”

Bill Kirchen “Shelly’s Winter Love” – Listen

This cover of the Merle Haggard song comes from Bill Kirchen’s recent retrospective release ‘The Proper Years’.  It’s an album that recognises the three albums that the co-founder of Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen recorded on Proper Records, and the many household names that he played with on those albums.  Take this very song for example, whose tale Bill Kirchen has unravelled. Continue reading “Bill Kirchen “Shelly’s Winter Love” – Listen”

Interview: Bill Kirchen

When it comes to unique talents in the field of guitar players and entertainers, Bridgeport, Connecticut born, Ann Arbor, Michigan raised and now Austin Texas-based, Bill Kirchen is up there with the best. What a wonderful musical history comes with this unique act. He grew up at a time when pop music was in its infancy and the Beatles and the UK pop scene was influencing the US big style. Heady days. Tagged as the Titan of the Telecaster Kirchen is still shaking things up with his creative playing, and for his latest venture he has called on his old friend, Austin de Lone (Godfather of Pub Rock) not only to share a record with him, but also tour the UK. Steeped in numerous different styles of the guitar playing Bill Kirchen defies nature when he picks up his Telecaster, and steps on stage. It is like he is taken over by a dynamic power.  Continue reading “Interview: Bill Kirchen”