PHIL SALAZAR & THE KIN FOLK
The thing here is the fiddling—it will steal your ears from hearing the other instruments, but the other instruments sound mighty fine, too. This is not hardcore bluegrass, but it’s a fun look at the greater realm of acoustic music. Yes, there is banjo, mandolin, resonator guitar, accordion, and of course those fiddles. The songs are from all over the map and a lot of that is thanks to Tom Corbett’s songwriting. He wrote four of the songs here. Additionally, Phil Salazar wrote one, as did Bill Flores. The band is up to whatever material they tackle and, for them, it’s all part of the fun.
The members are Phil Salazar (fiddle and vocals), Charl Ann Gastineau (fiddle), Bill Knopf lends his capable finesse on banjo and resonator guitar, and Bill Flores wails on the accordion and resonator guitar. Tom Corbett plays mandolin and guitar, and Rick Borella plays electric bass. Mike Mullins plays guitar on “Stoney Creek,” the opening cut. The band is superb, and the vocals are marked by an approachable honesty. Whether they tackle Western Swing, folk-country, or bluegrass classics, they blow out the doors instrumentally. The vocals are always solid, but there is no onecompelling voice.
This recording will garner a following for its quirkiness and the high caliber of the performances. Corbett’s songs “One Wheel Wagon” and “Fish To Bite” are fun if not classic. The arrangements do a lot to bring the songs to life. They spin each piece with their own unique take on it, and everyone is in great form as they drive the songs along with a sense of humor. They dissect “Arkansas Traveler” and reassemble it with an expansive sense of melody. “El Cumbanchero” closes the project with a slam. And then it’s time to hit repeat. (www.pskfband.com)RCB