Alpha Sun Records
Marketing: Marlene Palumbo @ Indienink Music
By Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro © August 2020
I’d have to search long and hard to find someone I know through blues music who doesn’t know Bridget Kelly and Tim Fik – especially if they are IBC and BMA attendees. Bridget and Tim are the type of people that will walk up to strangers at a blues festival or in a club and not only introduce themselves but do so with such a warmth and a smile that they’ll make you feel like you’ve known them your whole life. If there were ever two people who the terminology “To know them is to love them” applied, it is indeed Bridget and Tim. Right about now, anyone reading this who does know them is nodding their heads in agreement, understanding exactly what I mean. It’s an honor for me and the Blewzzlady to call them our friends.
“Dark Spaces”, which the band dedicates to the late and lovable Tony Colter and all those affected by Covid-19, is the sixth release for the Bridget Kelly Band. The disc features nearly seventy minutes of music, on thirteen all original tracks, that cover several styles of blues that – in their own words – relate to “matters that span from the murky recess of isolation and loneliness, to the summits of hope and unbridled optimism.”
For this project, The BKB – as they like to refer to themselves, consists of: Bridget Kelly on vocals; Tim Fik on guitars and bass; Alex Klausner, Sonny Rock and Boss Jones on drums; and Mark Armbrecht on bass.
The disc opens with “Free Me”, one of just about every one of the thirteen songs that will validate why Tim Fik repeatedly appeared on my first round ballots when I was a member of the Blues Music Awards nominating committee for many years. Calling him anything less than genius just doesn’t cut it. The song, brilliantly sung by Bridget as well, is about the need to escape the different types of demons and fears that can sometimes encompass and consume us.
The title track, “Dark Spaces”, addresses those places that most of us have some of but try to keep hidden way back in the corner of our minds. Although there are many who will be afraid to agree, as Bridget sees it, those places not only need to be explored but brought out into the light as well. With Sonny and Mark pounding out a rhythm that lyrics like these call for, Tim is once again working his magic on repeated stinging guitar leads.
“Find My Way Back Home” is an up-tempo tune that will surely please the foot tappers, knee slappers and booty shakers. It’s highlighted by exuberant and sassy vocals from Bridget; smokin’ slide guitar from the maestro; and a substantial rhythm led by Sonny, slammin’ the hell out of those skins.
“Things About To Change” is a heartwarming, inspirational song in which Bridget not only encourages the thought that bad times will get better, she pretty much promises it, as well. That right there is indeed what Bridget Kelly is truly all about. With the band taking a rare back seat, Bridget shines on this one.
When I saw the notes on the one sheet referencing this track use the words “epic slow blues” I knew I’d be all over it. I’ve repeatedly said that when you truly want to hear the caliber of a singers voice you’ve got to hear them sing a ballad. That said, you need to hear Bridget on “Moments”. Now, about those epic slow blues… just consider that the intense rhythm and the string bending, gut wrenching guitar leads that slap you in the face on the thirty second intro are only a tease.
“In The Spirit (Souls In The River)” is another up-tempo number and the somewhat Latin vibe the rhythm sections grooving in will make it another dance floor filler. On another note, the melodically repetitive lyrics and catchy chorus line will have you joining Bridget for a fun filled sing-a-long.
The disc closes with a triple decker blues sandwich called “Your Days Are Numbered”. It’s a seven-and-a-half minute long track that features Bridget seriously growling out gritty and raspy blues vocals in between not one, not two, but three extended guitar tirades that total close to four minutes long. These are the the kind of guitar skills that will one day win Tim that Blues Music Award I mentioned earlier. Remember where you heard it.
Other tracks on “Dark Spaces”: include: “Sky’s The Limit”; “Someone To Hold On To”; “Sometimes You Gotta Dance”; “No Use In Tryin'”; “Back Seat Love”; and “Southern Wind”.
To find out more about the Bridget Kelly Band just go to their website – www.bridgetkellyband.com. As usual, whomever you talk to, please tell them the Blewzzman sent you.
BTW, you might also want to click this link – Tim Fik – Blues Foundation – and read about Tim Fik receiving the Blues Foundation’s “Keeping The Blues Alive” Award.
Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro
Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music.com
2011 Keeping the Blues Alive Recipient