Culture

Blame It on the Thunderbird: New Album Out Now

Blame it on the Thurnderbird album cover

Blame It on the Thunderbird was released on Monday February 10th.

You can listen to a sample track here: Thunderbird Taster Shot

This release is the result of an ongoing collaboration between Keith Gooch and Eamonn Keyes, both Orkney based musicians with a lengthy pedigree going back over 40 years

Keith Gooch had been a long-standing stalwart of the London Rockabilly and Rock n’ Roll scene, but also maintained a keen interest in Jazz, Blues and Roots music, playing in Orkney previously as a drummer with Tony Lee and as a vocalist with Blues outfit Smokestack 45.

Eamonn Keyes has been a gigging musician since the mid-1970s with over 35 years spent in recording and production, eventually touring as a sound engineer with supports to classic rock bands such as AC/DC, Whitesnake, Deep Purple, Thunder, The Who and Paul Rodgers.

The collaboration started after the release of Keith’s solo ‘Reggaenomics’ CD, when Eamonn chanced to hear a Radio Orkney interview with Keith featuring a few musical snippets that stirred his interest because of Keith’s marked individual approach.

He subsequently tracked Keith down, only to be told that by Keith that he wasn’t interested in any collaboration because “I’m just too difficult to work with”.

Despite this initial setback the duo continued to meet, and soon began working on Keith’s rough sketches of songs, creating an original musical landscape for them over the next couple of years which eventually culminated in this 7 track CD.

The CD contains a variety of styles, from extensively produced tracks such as the title track Blame It on the Thunderbird to the stripped back live acoustic Keep Rollin’ Right, recorded as it happened in Eamonn’s living room.

The tracks all share the strong influence of Roots music, being tinged with Jazz- That Kinda Thing, Reggae-The Sun Goes Down, and the atmospheric swampy Delta/New Orleans Blues- Demi-Monde. There’s also the Country tinged Rough Diamond Preacher and even Calypso with Sitting by the Bayou, which must surely be the happiest sounding sad song ever.

Keith’s gravel-voiced vocals are the focal point, delivered like a veteran Delta Bluesman, and many of Keith’s lyrics are derived from Jazz -associated jive talk, by which Keith recalls an era rich in its descriptive language and nature.

Several tracks also feature contributions from Orkney’s own Fraser Retson, Captain of the Blues harmonica, and which enhance the atmosphere of the tracks.

Guitar, keyboard and programming duties fall to Eamonn Keyes, originally from Belfast and now permanently based in Kirkwall, where he is also currently recording and producing the new Electric Mother album.

Blame It on the Thunderbird is available in CD format from Grooves in The Old Library, Laing Street Kirkwall and will also be available as a digital download on iTunes, Apple Music, Google Play and Spotify.

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