Orlando born Selwyn Birchwood has become a mainstay blues performer here in Tampa, his home turf but he has also traveled throughout the US and Canada and has made quite a name for himself on the Blues circuit internationally. His name is known everywhere, he has picked up one reward after another and along the way, huge respect and accolades from other musicians. Rock at Night covered his show at the old Skipper’s Smokehouse in Tampa back in 2017. You can read his backing story at that link.
This recording, produced by Alligator Records is an album of perfection; every song is different, expresses diverse emotions, tells believable stories and will certainly be added to the classic blues playlists. Selwyn’s remarkable artistry on blues guitar and lap steel is legendary.
“With my music,” says the groundbreaking young blues visionary, “I tell my stories in my own way, with my own voice. You won’t ever hear me on stage telling someone else’s stories. Muddy Waters, B.B. King and John Lee Hooker all told their own stories. That’s what I’m doing.”
Selwyn’s band is: Regi Oliver on the sax, Huff Wright on the bass, Squeak Walker on drums and Michael Hensley on keys. Get this album! Every cut is exceptional!
I’d Climb Mountains–upbeat blues designed to get the toes tappin’ and the first dancers out on the floor! Nice guitar licks! Opening song so the listener can get into the groove!
I Got Drunk, Laid and Stoned–nice rockabilly style. The obvious drawbacks about being a part of the musician’s nightlife. Love gone wrong and retaliation involved.
Living in a Burning House–brassy intro with slower tempo blues, lyrics about leaving a relationship behind. This title track is plaintive, mournful and beautiful guitar with sax solos added in for good measure. VIDEO
You Can’t Steal My Shine–rocky and fast tempo, this song showcases the band’s musical expertise. Positive lyrics with very cool mantras and a touch of gospel towards the end. Yes, you gotta move when you hear this one!
Revelation–ohhhh, really good blues here, the Book of Revelation put to song with an emphasis on rock and roll! Warnings of danger along with shredding guitar and lots of brass. You want to go to church after you hear this!
Searching for my Tribe–Contemplative lyrics on the social mores of fitting in with the right crowd. Probably the most Top 40ish commercial song on this recording.
She’s a Dime–yes, Selwyn had to have written this for someone he is crazy about! Cute lyrics about new love, lots of brassy accents throughout the song.
One More Time–a poignant break up song, asking about love or lost love, slower tempo; this puts on more soul and is really a confessional with telling the truth moments.
Mama Knows Best–great song about bringing the new love home to Mama and we get to find out what Mama feels about her! Great contralto voice coming from guest vocalist Diunna Greenleaf.
Freaks Come Out at Night–incredible slide guitar on this boogie-woogie song, accompanied by an early released cinematic video of a backwoods, swampy dive bar where people play and party all night! VIDEO
Through a Microphone–oh yes! Old style boogie woogie blues, you gotta hear this one–it will get ya moving!
Rock Bottom–nice opening bass riff along with some string bending guitar. Slower tempo, lyrics about love lost, crying and being down and out. Great guitar work on this one!
My Happy Place–nice harmonies on the acoustic guitar, this is one of those classic rock ballads, deep and poignant lyrics about the love of music and finding happiness while playing it. Nice harmonizing on the back with the sax.
Anita grew up in a rock and roll radio station that her father owned and has a musical family. Spent a few years singing back up. Now sings in the shower! She is a USAF veteran and was elected to local office and worked as staff on three presidential campaigns as a Social Media and Virtual Outreach expert. Plays a variety of musical instruments including ukulele and she loves drum circles. Her favorite music genres are all of them--Alternative to Zydeco. Promotes bands and independent artists through ANITA STEWART PROMOTIONS. She also brought SOFAR SOUNDS to Tampa. When she is not writing, she is knitting, painting, attending concerts and live music jams and exploring nature with her camera. She has recently retired but no rocking chair for her! She has been reporting for Rock at Night since 2014.