Former Black Top and JSP recording artist, Guitar Shorty (David Kearney) has Landed on the Pennsylvania-based Evidence Records. This, his fifth CD release, reiterates the power and rambunctious nature of Shorty's blues popularity. Honed and sharpened in the fervent L.A. music scene, Shorty had several hits on the Pull label, and toured extensively in the sixties. he found his fluent guitar skills backing Ray Charles, Otis Rush, Sam Cooke, and even Lou Rawls. he won a W. C. handy award in 1992 for his JSP release with Otis Grand, My Way Or The Highway.
Shorty, who calls California home, is not backed by his road tested Central Avenue Band, but he scores high marks with any comfortable backing. His flare for incendiary guitar, stage acrobatics, and his pointed accessibility makes Shorty a favorite wherever he goes. This disc, with its accomplished but not overbearing backup will become another hot seller.
Guitar Shorty pushes his axe and vocals affront and over the rhythm string work of Chris Hayes. His rhythm section here is Glenn Letsch on the bass, and Scott Mathews handling the drums, sax, some rhythm guitar and keyboards. Jim Pugh is additionally present for the Hammond B3 organ chores. Shorty handles all the vocals and lead guitar with selections ranging from Sonny Boy Williamson II and Willie Dixon to Traffic's Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi. Contrary to other releases, there is only one new Shorty original, "The Netherlands".
Look for Shorty's phenomenal picking and his electrifying pedal effects. Highlights include Shorty's take on Delbert McClinton's "If You Can't Lie No Better," Mathews and Pugh's "Just Warming Up", his rowdy title tune "I Go Wild," and traffic's One & Only Man." Packing a steamin' engine room that is not afraid to get funky, Guitar Shorty takes control with his pulsing and potent pedal action and string work. His sometimes wrenching vocals seek to storytell while accenting the mix. Why not run out to get this and you too can go wild!
Evidence Music Inc.; 1100 East Hector Street, Suite 392; Conshohocken, PA 19428
This review is copyright © 2001 by Mark A. Cole, and Blues On Stage at: www.mnblues.com, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission. For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.