Kathy Murray and The Kilowatts
Fully Charged

Blue Heart Records
Publicity: Blind Raccoon

Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro © February 2022

Fully Charged is the fifth release for singer, songwriter, Grammy and Blues Music Awards nominee Kathy Murray, and her fourth with the electrifying Kilowatts as her band.  Those generating the musical energy to Kathy’s vocals include: band leader and life partner Bill “Monster” Jones on guitar, accordion and rub board; Jeff Botta on drums, cowbell and vocals; Michael DeSantis on bass; Richard Ross, Jason Corbiere and Nina Singh on drums; Matt Farrell on piano; Lewis Stephens on B3 organ; and The Texas Horns, who individually are: Kaz Kazanoff on tenor sax; John Mills on Baritone sax and Al Gomez on trumpet.  Of the disc’s fourteen energized tracks that cover many styles of blues, eleven are Kathy Murray originals.
The opening shuffle finds Kathy telling the sad tale of two people who never stopped to smell the roses.  As the story goes, after being asked what they would do over if they had the chance, this old and dying rich man and this wealthy but lonely older woman mutually regret the fact that all their riches were gained at the “Expense Of Love”. Musically, it’s one of just a few tracks that feature what appears to be the four piece nucleus of the band: Michael and Richard laying down the driving rhythm; Bill – establishing very early how he not only got the nickname “Monster”, but showing why he deserves it as well – on guitar; and Kathy melodically belting out the track’s melancholic lyrics. 
Paying homage to the “Texas Cannonball”, this track – about the Armadillo Club – is appropriately titled “The House That Freddie Built” – as in Freddie King.  Located in Austin, TX – home of the Kilowatts, as well –  the club was a long time stomping ground for Freddie and the guys.  Judging from the knowledgeable lyrics and the excitement she’s emitting as she sings them, I’m betting Kathy had many a good time at “The Dillo”, as the regulars referred to it.  As you’d expect on a song about one of the masters, with Jeff, Michael and Lewis banging out a powerful rhythm on the drums, bass and organ behind him, Bill’s all over the scorching blues guitar leads.  Having been in another of Freddie’s regular stomping grounds – My Father’s Place in Roslyn, NY – many of the times he played there, this one was totally relatable. 
Simply because of the fifties vibe it created, “Breakup Breakdown” is one of my favorite songs of the lot.  If Kathy And The Kilowatts were around in 1958, they could have very well been singing this one on American Bandstand instead of Jimmy Clanton singing “Just A Dream”.  Yep, that’s where this one took me and that’s the song it took me to.  There aren’t many ways to improve on an old school ballad being sung by a woman with a beautiful voice, but I’ll admit that you can’t go wrong adding The Texas Horns.
Be it a sorrowful tearjerker, a love story, a mystery, a drama, or any combination of them, “Wash Away The Pain” has movie soundtrack written all over it. Because of its sullen lyrics turning inspirational; the emotional way in which Kathy’s presenting them; it’s deep, dark rhythm vibe; and the somber picture Kaz is painting with his tenor sax leads; I’m going with a broken heart tear-jerking love story with a happy ending.  Send it out, Kathy!   
“It Hurts Me Too” (Hudson Whitaker)  is one of those blues standards that most aficionados could name at least a handful of artists who not only covered it but covered it well.  That said, I’m sure that both the original recording by Tampa Red and Elmore James’s versions are in every one of those hands.  Going forward, between Kathy’s masterful vocals and Bill nailing the classic Elmore style slide, this rendition may very well make it into some of those hands as well.
After a slight chuckle, Bill opens this one with:

“Times like these are not the easiest days,
    so don’t forget, along the way. to be extra nice. 
Pour on the sugar, pour on the spice. 
    You’ll be in paradise, my advice, be extra nice”

Followed by Kathy adding:

“There’s one thing we can do,
    as we try to make it through, is be extra nice.
Pour on the sugar, pour on the spice. 
    You’ll be in paradise, my advice, be extra nice”

So, by now you should not only know that this one is called “Extra Nice”  but you should also know that it’s a contagious, smile inducing, happy song. Along with other inspirational verses; it’s pop sing-a-long vibe; and squeeze box leads; this well sung duet between Kathy and Bill is a welcomed feel-good tune. 

Other songs on the excellent disc include: “My Mistake”; “Changing Lanes”; “Get A Hold Of Yourself”; “Henny Penny Blues”; “Suspicion” (Pompus/Schuman); “Hard Act To Follow”; “Animal Magnetism”; and “Anyone Who Knows What Love Is” (Seely/Arbuckle/Sheehan/Newman).

To find out more about Kathy Murray And The Kilowatts, just go to their website – www.kathymurrayandthekilowatts.com.  Remember, wherever you go and whoever you contact, please let them know The Blewzzman sent you!

“The Blues Is My Passion And Therapy”
Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro
P. O. Box 9346
Coral Springs, FL 33075-9346
Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music.com
2011 “Keeping The Blues Alive” Award Recipien