Tampa Bay bluesman Selwyn Birchwood heads to this weekend’s Bradenton Blues Festival

‘Living In A Burning House’ is out on Jan. 29 via Alligator.

Selwyn Birchwood plays Skipper's Smokehouse in Tampa, Florida on June 7, 2014. - ANDY WARRENER
Selwyn Birchwood plays Skipper's Smokehouse in Tampa, Florida on June 7, 2014.

As his longtime fans know, Tampa Bay’s very own Selwyn Birchwood has been hailed by Rolling Stone as “a powerhouse young guitarist” and earned accolades from a number of giants in blues.

Birchwood has been in the guitar game since the age of 13, but only six years ago did he release Don’t Call No Ambulance, his first album with the Chicago-run Alligator Records, Since then, he has played shows all over the map, either solo, or opening for heroes such as Buddy Guy and Robert Cray. A handful of shows, releases, and awards later, Birchwood is kicking 2021 off with a brand new effort that already sounds as promising as everything else he’s put out.

On Living In A Burning House—the hotshot bluesman’s third album for Alligator, dropping on Jan. 29—Birchwood has arranged 13 brand-new compositions. On it he’s backed by his regular band, which includes a baritone sax, but for the first time in his career, Birchwood has keyboards on a recorded album. The album’s title track was released as a single on streaming services back in June.

“They say everything is better when it’s made with love,” Birchwood says in a release. “That’s how we play our music and that’s how we made the new album. I want my audience to say, ‘I know exactly what that feels like,’ when a song hits them.”

If you would like to say such things when a song hits you, Birchwood will be rocking the Bradenton Blues Festival, which is still happening this Saturday. Presumptuously, he’ll be giving a sneak peek of some new material you won’t hear anywhere else until January. 

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