Shaun Kirk is a revelation.
Don’t be fooled by his clean-shaven, youthful visage – he knows how to play dirty. Dirty blues that is. His new album The Wick Sessions is a testament to his talent, commitment and sheer energy as he showcases the blues to a younger audience. Recorded and filmed at Wick Studios in Melbourne, Shaun’s brand new album and DVD was inspired by Freddie King’s In Concert: Dallas, Texas – 1973. A nicely balanced collection of songs, most his own compositions, with some tasteful covers, he plays like he means it and when I say he plays, I mean he plays everything – vocals, guitar, harp, percussion you name it. It’s an exciting release from a vital new blues force on the scene not to be ignored. This record is hard-hitting, warm and honest, capturing all of the intensity and exhilaration that comes with Kirk’s live show. His immense voice wails whilst channeling his influences of the Delta blues era.
The new record showcases four original tracks from previous albums Cruisin’ and Thank You for Giving Me the Blues, three covers written by the likes of Howlin’ Wolf, Keb’ Mo and our very own Dutch Tilders, as well as a freshly penned track “Every Dog Will Have its Day”, which reflects a roller coaster story of adventure, vulnerability and faith. I love this record.
Here’s a teaser of the album.
Born in Melbourne Australia, Shaun picked up the guitar at the age of 16. A successful sportsman until a broken ankle forced him to sit still for a while, causing him to write his first song in a hospital bed whilst waiting for surgery – Shaun discovered his passion for music.
In 2008 his first independent EP, Seagulls was released. Since the independently funded debut release Cruisin’ in 2010, there has been a steady rise in awareness of him and his music. His first full-length album, Thank You for Giving Me the Blues offers seven original tracks and three covers and has all the passion and vigour you can ask for in a contemporary blues/soul record. Shaun’s blood, sweat and dedication to his art shines through, from slow and soulful ballads like “Find Somebody To Love” to witty tales of life on the road in “Chicken and Corn”, raw, stripped back instrumentals like “The Howlin Harp Boogie” and hard-hitting yet energetic grooves such as “The Drug Got a Hold Onto You” (see clip below). His innovative arrangements of old blues standards by the likes of Willie Dixon and Bo Diddley show his inclination to take the genre to places it hasn’t been. There’s also a cameo performance on the album from Australian blues icon Lloyd Spiegel.
What can we expect from Shaun Kirk at Byron Bay’s Bluesfest next week? Well The Wick Sessions is a strong guide – his passionate one-man show, surrounded by stomp box, tambourine, high hat, cymbal, kick and snare drum, playing up to six percussive sounds with his feet, whilst delivering quality guitar and blues harmonica performances, will I expect be impressive! In fact, it is somewhat difficult to believe it is only one man producing this truly complex sound.
There is no sign of slowing down in 2013 for Kirk, with plans for another full‐length studio album to be released later in the year and the likelihood of taking his music overseas.
Some notable quotes from notable people:
“Shaun has a vocal range I could only dream of having. He is always a pleasure to listen to!” – Dallas Frasca
“It’s possessing the right attitude and sense of tradition that makes him stand out.” – Lloyd Spiegel
“Shaun’s a young yet established exciting performer, with a natural presence on stage, confidently singing original tunes accompanied by smooth slide guitar and sensible harmonics to croon any audience!” – Dutch Tilders
“Shaun’s a wonderful talent. He writes thoughtful songs and has a great groove through his music, not to mention a killer voice. I’m expecting big things!” – Nick Charles
NATIONAL TOUR DATES
MAR 23 SETTLERS TAVERN – Margaret River, WA
MAR 24 REDCLIFFE ON THE MURRAY – Pinjarra, WA
MAR 28-30 BLUESFEST – Byron Bay, NSW
APR 04 REPUBLIC BAR – Hobart, TAS
APR 05 TAPAS LOUNGE BAR – Devenport, TAS
APR 06 ROYAL OAK HOTEL – Launceston, TAS
APR 11 BEAVS BAR – Geelong, VIC
APR 12 OLD HEPBURN HOTEL – Hepburn Springs, VIC
APR 13 RUBYS LOUNGE – Belgrave, VIC
APR 14 WESTERNPORT HOTEL – San Remo, VIC
APR 18 NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB – Melbourne, VIC
APR 19 BABUSHKA LOUNGE – Ballarat, VIC
APR 20 WHEATSHEAF HOTEL – Adelaide, SA
APR 21 GLENELG SURF LIFE SAVING CLUB – Glenelg, SA
APR 24 THE FRONT – Canberra, ACT
APR 25 THE GUMBALL – Hunter Valley, NSW
APR 26 DARWIN ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE – Darwin, NT
APR 27 GREAT NORTHERN HOTEL – Newcastle, NSW
MAY 03 MUDGEE BREWERY – Mudgee, NSW
MAY 04 THE CAT & FIDDLE – Sydney, NSW
MAY 05 GRAND JUNCTION HOTEL – Maitland, NSW
MAY 09 THE AZTEC – Forster, NSW
MAY 10 PACIFIC HOTEL – Yamba, NSW
MAY 11 KINGSTON HARVEST FESTIVAL – Carrum, VIC
MAY 12 THE JOYNT – Brisbane, QLD
MAY 16 SOLBAR – Maroochydore, QLD
MAY 17 BEACH HOTEL – Byron Bay, NSW
MAY 19 HAMPTON FOOD & ARTS FESTIVAL – Hampton, QLD
MAY 21-23 KC’S CHARGRILL BAR – Airlie Beach, QLD
MAY 24-26 BLUES ON BROADBEACH – Gold Coast, QLD
MAY 31 THE DIAMOND HOUSE – Stawell, VIC
JUN 04 KAZBAH LOUNGE – Sale, VIC
The Wick Sessions is out on Only Blues Music