FRANK SOLIVAN & DIRTY KITCHEN

Frank-SolivanFRANK SOLIVAN & DIRTY KITCHEN
IF YOU CAN’T STAND THE HEAT

Compass Records
747202

Bands don’t come much tighter than Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen. Anchored by Solivan’s soaring, emotive tenor and brilliant mandolin chops, the band handles all manner of complex melodies, sophisticated syncopation, and turn-on-a-dime rhythmic shifts with acrobatic ease.

As the ten cuts on If You Can’t Stand The Heatattest, they cover a wide range of musical styles with similar prowess and conviction. The songs here run the gamut from fiery old-time breakdowns, such as banjoist extraordinaire Mike Munford’s original instrumental “Crack Of Noon”, to a fabulous bluegrass reinvention of the ubiquitous Steely Dan pop hit “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number.”

As a vocalist, Solivan, with the band in pluperfectly precise lockstep, excels on introspective and often anguished pop-flavored laments that are melodically intricate yet supremely soulful. Among these are “Crave” (co-written by Solivan and Becky Buller), “Set In Stone” (Ari Hest and Sarah Siskind), “Shiver” (Tami Hinesh and Megan McCormick), and “(Can’t Get Out Of) My Own Way” (Megan McCormick and Josiah Rosen). Added to the mix is a compelling reprisal of Peter Rowan’s “Wild Mustang,” with guest harmony vocals from Rowan himself, and a rousing revival of the bluegrass oldie “Lena” (which Solivan, with permission, re-titled “Leah” in honor of his wife), penned by bluegrass veteran Leon Morris.

Solivan, Munford, Chris Luquette (guitar and vocals), and Jeremy Middleton (bass and vocals) prove once again that they’re the kind of stellar musicians who get crowds on their feet while demonstrating to all the world’s wannabe bluegrass pickers how the true masters get it done. (Compass Records, 916 19th Ave. S., Nashville, TN 37212, www.compassrecords.com.)BA

Share this Article