Saturday, July 28, 2018
Concert Review: Selwyn Birchwood at Kanza Hall
Four black musicians performed for 20 white people at the 1,000-capacity Kanza Hall on Friday. I forked over $15 at the door to witness the debacle. Selwyn Birchwood is one of handful of artists equipped to shake blues out of the doldrums. The form has been stuck in a commercial and artistic rut for years. The Floridian’s astute songs, sly guitar solos, powerful voice and uncommon band configuration- guitar, saxophone, bass and drums- were even more impressive at Kanza Hall than on his two albums for Alligator Records. The snippet of a Fenton Robinson-style guitar solo I posted to Instagram reflects Birchwood’s sensitivity and restraint, rare qualities in a genre that too often rewards bluster. Subtlety clearly wasn’t in demand on Friday.
(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)