Selwyn Birchwood – “Exorcist” CD Review
Fourth Alligator Records Album from Innovative Award-Winning
Guitarist, Vocalist and Songwriter
On Friday, June 9, award-winning Florida bluesman Selwyn Birchwood will
release Exorcist, his highly anticipated fourth Alligator Records release. The young guitarist, lap steel player, songwriter and vocalist sets a course for the future of the blues with his visionary, original music. He calls it “Electric Swamp Funkin’ Blues,” an intoxicating mix of deep blues, blistering, psychedelic-tinged rock, booty-shaking funk and sweet Southern soul, played and sung with fire-and-brimstone fervor. Tastemaker Americana music magazine No Depression says, “Selwyn Birchwood reaches back in the blues tradition to launch something out of this world.” Exorcist will be available on purple vinyl LP, CD and at all popular streaming and download sites. The first single, the ripped-from-the-headlines howler FLorida Man, hit radio and streamers in May.
On Exorcist, Birchwood delivers the most far-reaching, musically adventurous album of his career. Recorded in Florida and produced by Grammy Award-winner Tom Hambridge, each of the 13 vividly detailed songs was written and arranged by Birchwood. The soul-baring tracks all hit with lasting rhymes and unexpected rhythms. Each twists its own tale, ranging from the love-gone-wrong Horns Below Her Halo to the love-gone-terrifying Exorcist to the autobiographical Underdog. According to Blues Music Magazine, “Selwyn Birchwood heralds a fresh, exciting new direction in the blues. Toe-tapping, hip-shaking, joyful and inviting…expansive and focused, exploratory and time-honored, but always original.”
Live, Birchwood is a force of nature. His ability to win over an audience—any audience—is proven night after night on the bandstand. With his warm, magnetic personality, Birchwood is as down-to-earth as his music is thought-provoking and electrifying, with Birchwood’s band featuring the pulsating interplay of his blistering guitar with Regi Oliver’s driving baritone sax. When he sits down to play his lap steel, he takes the crowd to a whole other level, with the music exorcising any bad times and troubles.
Now, with Exorcist, Selwyn Birchwood and his band are ready to deliver the new songs live to expanding, enraptured audiences around the world, lifting spirits while banishing demons. Asked what fans can expect when they see him, Birchwood replies, “My goal is to be sure you cannot listen passively. We’re going to make you dance, and we’re going to make you think.” One listen to Exorcist will no doubt convert many new true believers: this is visionary contemporary blues written and performed by an endlessly creative, modern-day blues master.