There's no mistaking the sound of the blues, one of the 20th century's oldest and most practiced genres, a fact that makes it difficult for bluesmen (and women) to stand out in amid the seemingly infinite amount of other musicians who devote their lives to touring behind and making music based around the idea of 12 bars, minor pentatonic scales, and everything that shuffles in between.
Selwyn Birchwood has been setting himself apart from the pack and it all finally came to a head last year when Alligator Records president Bruce Iglauer offered the 29-year-old Orlando-born, University of Tampa-schooled bluesman a recording contract. The fruits of Birchwood's labor since joining the legendary 43-year-old label — which has released albums by the likes of Mofro, Buddy Guy, and Robert Cray — see the light of day on June 10, and he plays a release party in celebration this Friday at the Skipperdome.
Don't Call No Amubulance is a 12-track debut mostly produced at Orange City, Fla.'s North Avenue Studios, with additional recording done across the street from the CL offices at Red Room Recorders. The album features Regi Oliver handling horn duties and Birchwood himself asserting his Stratocaster power while also proclaiming his Southern-fried lap steel prowess.
Watch Birchwood and his band work through Ambulance closer "Hoodew Stew" in the video below, taken from a recent Tampa Bay Blues Festival after-show at Palladium Theatre in St. Petersburg this past April. Get more info on the album and pre-order it here. Birchwood's next Tampa appearance — where fans and curious onlookers alike can experience his still youthful and appreciative stage presence — happens this Fri., June 6, at his official Skipperdome album release party featuring support from TC Carr & The Bolts of Blue. Doors at 8 p.m.; admission is $7 advance/$10 day of show. Skipper's Smokehouse is located at 910 Skipper Road in Tampa. More info on the show is available here.