Having left Edinburgh, Scotland, for Wellington, New Zealand in 2014, The Frank Burkitt Band took shape over the coming months, honing a unique, rootsy sound which lies somewhere between country/ Americana and swing and jazz music. Raconteur is their latest offering, made up of ten original songs, direct from the pen of Mr Burkitt himself.
The album opens with ‘Work So Hard’; a brilliant piece of Americana, accompanied by clarinet licks which float in and around the music, like the smoke of a cigarette, drifting through the song’s bar room setting…slowly leading the listener to the song’s slightly hypnotic lyrical warning “Don’t go chasing shadows”. ‘Simple’ follows this track. There is nothing overstated here. Everything has a place and purpose; from the delicious double bass which follows the vocal, to the gentle shades of the Hammond organ and cello, which ease in and out of the song, doing just enough to compliment the lyric, without overplaying or overstaying their welcome.
The longer the album continues, the more we are offered the opportunity to hear the different dimensions of the The Frank Burkitt Band; the musically lonesome title track (with its ‘night time in the city’ type brass accompaniment); the full on fusion of Americana and big band swing in ‘Paint The Town’, the easy listening vibe of ‘The Gypsy Barber’, the jazzy charm of ‘Walkin’ Right’ and the slower, reflective, folkie, a cappella ‘My Heart Waits’, which concludes a very convincing record.
Christopher James Sheridan
Artists’ website: www.frankburkitt.co.nz
‘Simple’ – the single. Official video: