Someone’s in the Kitchen with Solivan, Cooking Fresh (and Vintage) Bluegrass
Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen will make their way to Beartrap from the storied hills of West Virginia—that is, with stops along the way for the Yukon’s Kluane Mountain Music Festival, Kentucky’s legendary Bean Blossom gathering, and two weeks of feverish picking in a Nashville recording studio.
Ordained “the best new Bluegrass band” by dobro master Rob Ickes, Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen have been unusually busy since the recent release of their self-titled CD. But catching one of their live shows is to experience them at another level, according to critic Devon Leger at No Depression:
“Solivan’s performance with Dirty Kitchen took me completely by surprise with its raw energy. He played like a man possessed, shredding his mandolin runs and blazing through red-hot fiddle solos. I tweeted at the time that Frank and Dirty Kitchen should be giving workshops on performing as a band. They were impossibly tight together, and could turn on a dime. They matched Frank’s lead perfectly and played just as hard as he did.
“There’s a red-hot core of barely tamed wildness in the heart of bluegrass music, something we tend to forget in this day and age of overly sanitized and ‘safe’ Bluegrass bands.”
The offerings on their newest CD give a clue about their versatility. There’s a version of “Paul and Silas” that could make a church revival break out, a graceful and heartbreaking rendition of “July, You’re a Woman,” and originals such as Frank’s “Driftin’ Apart” are proof that love-gone-wrong can provide stellar picking opportunities: “A constant theme is tough to manage / With time gone by / A wound that was never bandaged / And a blame that you can’t deny…”
Katy Daley, host of WAMU (Washington, DC) Radio’s “Bluegrass Country” comments, “Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen could easily be described as a group of super-pickers. But that would be only half the story, because the vocals easily match the instrumental work. The result is a powerful collection of hard-driving, contemporary acoustic music.”
Another DJ, Al Shusterman of KCBL Radio (Fresno, CA) says of the album, “The CD is smokin’ hot from the first song until the last note of ‘Paul and Silas.’ Whether it’s the beautiful singing, awesome instrumental work, or superb original compositions, it all fits together like a favorite sweater. I can see some of these songs becoming classics one day. As soon as I started playing this project on the air, my request lines went into overdrive. A sure-fire winner.”
As it turns out, Solivan’s band has a sideline pursuit that interprets “dirty kitchen” literally—they occasionally create house parties for which they supply the music and Frank cooks and serves a gourmet dinner on the spot.
Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen blaze through the instrumental “M-80,” live in the Washington, DC studios of WAMU Bluegrass Country:
Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen perform “July, You’re a Woman” during an evening show at Bluegrass From the Forest 2012 in Shelton, WA.:
Frank and the band, onstage at the 2012 Anchorage Folk Festival: