Kermit Lynch, the renowned wine importer/producer and author, is also an accomplished singer-songwriter. His third album, Kitty Fur, released via Dualtone on March 29, is as outstanding as any fine wine he’s ever imported. Produced by Ricky Fataar, the roots-inspired country blues record was recorded with some of Nashville’s top musicians and includes the original title track and distinctive covers of Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, Bunny Wailer, and Jimmy Reed, among other.
In wine-tasting terms, this CD is an artisanal blend of sweet thoughts mingled with over-ripe memories; complex tones of sheer joy and aged sadness layered with mellow musings; powerful lyrics and strapping instrumental dominance make this a full-bodied top-shelf selection, one you’d be proud to share with distinguished guests and old friends alike. Oh my, how those pedal steel guitar riffs and sweet sax tones linger on the finish.
Kicking back with a nice glass of Kermit Lynch Côtes du Rhône ($14.99/bottle, an amazing value wine), I enjoyed the first cut on this CD called Kitty Fur, written by Lynch himself. Bluesy and flowing, Lynch’s voice is both gravely and rolling, rife with feeling. That same crackling voice takes on Winter, a Mick Jagger and Keith Richards creation.
Lynch eases us through old favorites like Every Time We Say Goodbye (Cole Porter), Bright Lights, Big City (Jimmy Reed), and Hank Williams’ Cold, Cold Heart—his voice takes on such sadness in this one that it makes you just want to cry. My pick of the CD was Winterlude, the classic Bob Dylan song that Lynch so powerfully executed.
The finest feature of this new release is the precision blending and production of electric, acoustic, and steel guitar, bass, mandolin, fiddle, saxophone, trumpet, harmonica, drums and percussion, piano and organ provided by a list that reads like a who’s-who of musicians. The music is fresh, sounds alive, and is almost holy in its presentation.
Lynch made the leap from writing songs, fronting bands, and playing gigs to wine when he became disillusioned in 1971 with the ‘flower power’ scene and headed to Europe. The rest is history—since 1972, Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant has become one of America’s most important and influential importers of high quality French wines. But he never left the music far behind.
In 2005, Lynch returned to music when singer-songwriter/vintner Boz Scaggs heard old garage tapes and invited Lynch to record at his studio. That year Lynch, along with co-producers Ricky Fataar and Scaggs, transformed those tapes featuring original compositions into Quicksand Blues at Scaggs’ San Francisco studio. Alvin Youngblood Hart joined Lynch and Scaggs along with Laurie Lewis, Jon Cleary, and Jackie Payne. Man’s Temptation followed in 2009, and is described by Lynch as “rootsy Americana” featuring four originals and a few gems from Curtis Mayfield, the Stanley Brothers, Bob Dylan, and Hank Cochran.
Truly Lynch and I share musical palates; he surely understands my taste in wine.
The Beatles music live at Kokopelli Winery & Bistro
Kokopelli Winery & Bistro in Chandler announces its Beatles music event this weekend. The Beatles’ music lives on through tribute band Marmalade Skies, who will appear during dinner service both Friday and Saturday, April 15 and 16.
Marmalade Skies not only plays The Beatles’ hits, they dress in costume and take you on a delightful magical mystery tour of the ‘60s and ‘70s. To get in the mood, if you still have that Ringo hairdo or that Yellow Submarine outfit you’ll fit right in, plus dressing like The Beatles will save 10 percent off your entire bill. Call ahead today for your reservations on the patio and get close to Marmalade Skies, 480-792-6927.
Art Opening and musical debut at CataVinos
Hey, isn’t this blog supposed to be about wine? Well, at least it’s about the people and events that make wine so much fun.
CataVinos Wine Shoppe & Tasting Room provides a venue for artists to display their works, in celebration of a monthly tasting of blends—those carefully crafted selections that showcase wine as art. An Art Opening and wine tasting is planned for this Saturday, April 16, 4:00-to-8:00pm, to showcase the work of artist Barbara Strelke. The artist, raised in Wisconsin, spent many years in New Mexico, and now lives and works in Tucson, Arizona, and San Carlos, Mexico.
For the past several years, Strelke had combined work in landscape architecture, planning, and urban design with painting. She is now painting full-time and establishing a style as a colorist with a keen sense of landscape form and composition. She paints in oil, watercolor, and pastel. Her subjects range from Southwest desert and canyon landscapes to Sea of Cortez seascapes. Galeria del Desierto (http://www.galeriadeldesierto.com/) is the showcase for her paintings with a focus on the Sonoran Desert, the Sea of Cortez, and San Carlos, Mexico.
To enhance the art opening, Linda Bilque, of Phoenix, will entertain, with a new blend of music. With a voice that sounds like a female version of Willie Nelson, her songs tell stories of regular folks in many ways, much in the manner of Harry Chapin. Bilque’s songs are timely and heartfelt stories about life.
Her first commercial release Twists of Fate captures the flavor of the Southwest with songs like Mother of Mexico, which takes place in the Yaqui Indian community of Guadalupe. Lucky is a story of trailer-park love in Tucson, and Dat-So-La-Lee speaks of the tragedy of the lost art of the great Indian basket weaver. Her newest release Side Tracked visits Loretta at the dollar store, the legacy of the cowboy women of Cochise County in We Were the Cowboys, and the day of the dead and a love left behind in Dia De Los Muertos.
Plenty of fine wining and creative people enjoying to be done this coming weekend for sure. Cheers!