Checking the Roots Music Report last night I made a short list of some names that looked interesting and gave them a quick listen the album that caught my attention and I ended up putting on the mp3 player was Selfe-Contained by Kevin Selfe and the Tornadoes. Self-Contained is the band’s first release. Their most recent release Playing the Game is currently No. 41 on the chart down from 39 last week. It only took listening to the first track on Selfe-Contained an instrumental titled “Messing With A Lion” for me to realize that I was going to like this group and album. The guitar work is great and the organ is just as good a rocking track.
Kevin is originally from Roanoke, Virginia and now calls Portland Oregon home. The band consists of Kevin on guitar, vocals, harmonica; Don Shultz on drums and John Neish on bass. The band won a prestigious Muddy Award in 2009 for Best Contemporary Blues Act from the Cascade Blues Association. The band has been nominated for 10 Muddy Awards for Best Electric Guitar (2007,2008, 2009), Best Contemporary Blues Act (2008, 2009), Best Traditional Blues Act (2009), Best New Act (2007), Best Bass (2008, 2009), and Best Drums (2008). From his website:
“Kevin draws the crowds to the band with fiery fretwork that gets “wanna-be” guitar heroes excited and professionals listening closely. As a band, the three together all fall in complete synchronization with one another on stage as a true ensemble that just may be one of the best outfits on the West Coast.” – Greg Johnson, President, Cascade Blues Association
I like just about all the tracks on the album from the opening instrumental “Messing With A Lion” to the great closing track “Soul Trance” which may be my favorite track on the album! Other standout tracks include:”Whiskey and Women”, “Devils Come Early to Collect His Due” , “Another Mule in My Stall” and “Wait on Time”. Overall like I said the guitar is great and Kevin’s got a good blues voice and he has a degree in meteorology. What more can you ask for from an artist!
Again from his website an interesting story:
One of the most memorable experiences in Kevin’s life occurred that night while coming off the stage of the New Daisy Theater. Kevin recalls “Bob Margolin (Muddy Waters’ guitarist) was one of the judges that night, and was presenting an old Stella guitar that Muddy had owned to Howard Stovall and The Blues Foundation. Before the presentation, Bob was slated to play the guitar for a couple of tunes. We were the last band to compete and Howard was waiting at the bottom of the stairs watching over the guitar. I asked if that was the guitar? He said ‘Yes’, and then I asked if I could touch it. He said ‘You sounded great…here, you can play it for a minute…you earned it.’ So there I was, playing Muddy Waters guitar on Beale Street, with his strings still on it. Words just can’t describe what I felt. It was an amazing experience. That guitar now sits in the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, MS. I get goose bumps every time I see it.”
Here’s the band performing “Walking Funny” from their new album Playing the Game