Wow, nothing like some nice testimonials for Bill Kirchen, and for the Mauch Chunk Opera House, to suggest that you might want to see their show here Friday, 5/25 :
Can’t wait he always puts on a fantastic show!!!!! Thanks again, Susan
Bill gives a great performance every time! – Dolores
i’d like you again if i could~! 😀 ♥ – Marci (to the Opera House, on Facebook)
This looks fantastic. The last time I was there is was basically an empty shell. Great job. I can’t wait to see it in person. – Edward
So proud to have this gem right in my home town. Looks beautiful! – Lori (to the Opera House, but could have been for Bill Kirchen too!)
Wow! Bright and welcoming. – Lee
And indeed, you’re most welcome to come on up the Opera House tonight for a heck of a good time. We’re confident Mr. Kirchen and his band will enjoy themselves too, assuring you of a memorable night.
Word to the Wise is the latest album from the acclaimed songwriter, singer and long-time “Titan of the Telecaster.” It will be released on the same date as the show, and it’s crammed to the brim with memorable appearances from a revolving cast of characters including Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Norton Buffalo, Commander Cody, Dan Hicks, Maria Muldaur and Asleep at the Wheel alumna Chris O’Connell.
On his previous album, Hammer of the Honky Tonk Gods, Kirchen saw his challenge as “trying to write some songs that were more from the heart and closer to the bone. I wanted to let go of my stance of writing attitude-laden truck-driver songs—I’ve done enough of those to last a lifetime. But, as with any of my albums, I love so many kinds of music that I haven’t figured out a way to focus down and just do one specific thing.”
The new record serves up heaping portions of rock ’n’ roll, country, boogie-woogie and Western swing. It’s loaded with verbal and musical witticisms, as well as moments of deep poignancy, all of it set against a vital backdrop of Telecaster twang, tremolo and reverb, as Bill does his thing, riffing like Chuck Berry on “I Don’t Work That Cheap,” whipping up thunder and lightning Richard Thompson-style on “Time Will Tell the Story” and spinning out quicksilver runs that recall Mark Knopfler’s work in front of Dire Straits on Blackie Farrell’s “Open Range.”
“I was surprised at how much guitar ended up on this record,” says Kirchen. “I didn’t set out to make as much guitar noise as I did… I tend to be a really clean country-based picker, and it was fun taking the Deluxe reverb and cranking it up. I hope it’s OK.” No worries, Bill—it’s more than OK; it’s downright godhead.
Justly famous for his indelible Telecaster sound on “Hot Rod Lincoln,” his 1972 Top 10 hit with Commander Cody, Kirchen has been everywhere since he first plugged in during the mid-’60s: he was a founding member of the legendary Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, he’s released eight critically-acclaimed solo albums, and has performed with Elvis Costello, Dan Hicks, and Emmylou Harris.
As the Washington Post’s Mike Joyce put it, “The folks who make Fender Telecasters ought to stop what they’re doing and cut Bill Kirchen a fat check.”
Bill Kirchen and Too Much Fun perform at Jim Thorpe’s Mauch Chunk Opera House on Friday, May 25 at 8:30 PM. Doors open for this show at 7:30 PM. Tickets can be purchased online at www.MauchChunkOperaHouse.com, at SoundCheck Records at 23 Broadway, Jim Thorpe, or by phone at 570-325-0249.
Or just come to the door at 7:30! See you there!