Groundbreaking young blues visionary Selwyn Birchwood will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14, at the Blue Jay Listening Room in Jacksonville Beach.
Birchwood’s latest release is his highly anticipated third “Alligator” album, “Living In A Burning House.” Birchwood calls his original music “electric swamp funkin’ blues,” defined by raw and soulful musicianship played with fire-and-brimstone fervor. His gritty, unvarnished vocals draw his audience inside his unforgettable tales of love, passion, pain and pleasure.
No other band on the current blues scene is built quite like Birchwood’s. In addition to Birchwood’s electrifying guitar and lap-steel playing, the other featured instrument is Regi Oliver’s driving baritone sax. The group is rounded out by bass, drums and, for the first time, keyboards.
For “Living In A Burning House,” Birchwood wrote and arranged 13 new songs, and brought in famed Grammy Award-winning musician/producer Tom Hambridge (Buddy Guy, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Susan Tedeschi) to produce. From the rocking opener “I’d Climb Mountains” to the sweet soul of “She’s A Dime” and “One More Time” to the hair-raising “Revelation,” “Living In A Burning House” features some of the most vividly striking writing on today’s blues scene. Birchwood’s voice and vision are clear, his sound is edgy and compelling, and his stories are memorable and lasting.
Since the 2014 release of his Alligator Records debut, “Don’t Call No Ambulance,” Birchwood’s meteoric rise from playing small Florida clubs to headlining international festival stages is nothing short of phenomenal. The album received the Blues Music Award and Living Blues Critics’ Award for Best Debut Album Of 2014, and Birchwood won the 2015 Blues Blast Rising Star Award.
Rave reviews ran in numerous publications, including Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune and The San Francisco Chronicle. He followed in 2016 with “Pick Your Poison.”
“There’s a deep-seated power about Birchwood’s singing and six string/lap steel guitar work...and there’s an unmistakable emotion and honesty linking him to forebears like Muddy Waters. Thoughtful, persuasive and rugged.” wrote DownBeat.
Rolling Stone wrote, “A remarkable, contemporary bluesman...a powerhouse young guitarist and soulful vocalist...a major player...highly recommended.”
Birchwood and his band have crisscrossed the U.S. and Europe repeatedly, delivering unforgettable live performances, and earning new fans everywhere they go.
“I write and sing what I know,” said Birchwood, whose musical innovations are as expansive as his influences are deep. “They say everything is better when it’s made with love. That’s how we play our music and that’s how we made the new album. I want my audience to say, ‘I know exactly what that feels like,’ when a song hits them. Because that’s when it stops just being music and starts being medicine. After all, we are all stricken with the condition of being human.”
Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 at the door. To purchase tickets online, go to www.904tix.com/events/selwyn-birchwood-at-blue-jay-listening-room-8-14-2021. For more information about the Blue Jay Listening Room, go to www.bluejayjax.com