Birchwood brings his high-intensity music to Fallon
The Selwyn Birchwood Band appears in Fallon on Saturday at the Oats Park Art Center. In addition to 8 p.m. show, a free conversation with the artist is at 3 p.m.
The box office, Art Bar and galleries open at 7 p.m., with the performance beginning one hour later. Tickets are $17 for members, $20 for nonmembers. Tickets are available at Jeff’s Copy Express, ITT at Naval Air Station Fallon or call the Churchill Arts Center at 775-423-1440 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Birchwood, who attacks his guitar and lap steel with searing intensity, wrote and produced all 13 songs on “Pick Your Poison.” His richly detailed, hard-hitting originals run the emotional gamut from the humorously personal “My Whiskey Loves My Ex” to the gospel-inflected “Even The Saved Need Saving” to the hard truths of the topical “Corporate Drone” and “Police State” to the existential choice of the title track. The cutting-edge songs are made all the more impactful by Birchwood’s gruff vocals, his untamed musicianship and his band’s seemingly telepathic accompaniment.
“I write and sing what I know,” said Birchwood, whose innovations are as expansive as his influences. “This album has a broad reach. It’s for young, old and everyone in between.”
Birchwood won the 2013 International Blues Challenge and also the Albert King Guitarist Of The Year Award at the same event.
Birchwood, whose father is from Tobago and his mother from the United Kingdom, was born in 1985 in Orlando, Fla. He first grabbed a guitar at age 13 and soon became proficient at mimicking what he heard on the radio. But the popular grunge rock, hip-hop and metal of the 1990s didn’t move him, and he quickly grew bored. And then he heard Jimi Hendrix.
“He was larger than life. What he did was mind-blowing. When I realized Hendrix was influenced by the blues, I found my path,” Birchwood said.
By the age of 17, he was deep into the blues, listening to Albert King, Freddie King, Albert Collins, Muddy Waters, Lightnin’ Hopkins and especially Buddy Guy.
Birchwood created The Selwyn Birchwood Band in 2010, featuring veteran musicians older than Selwyn, testifying to Selwyn’s musical chops and his leadership skills. On stage, they play off each other with ease, feeding off each other’s energy, sharing the fun with the audience.
The latest artist exhibitions at the Oats Park Art Center will close Saturday,
Keith Goodhart, The Day the Earth Moved — Slightly, and Gesine Janzen’s exhibition of prints created using woodcuts, monotype and intaglio.