Stemming from rock & roll angst, folk chords and rhythms and grunge-esque aesthetics, Providence's Keith McCurdy has made one hell of a debut record under his pseudonym Vudu Sister with Bastard Children. The album features a revolving cast of fellow Providence musicians such as Sugar Honey Iced Tea's Kate Jones, multi-instrumentalist Michael Samos, violinist Diane O'Connor, mandolin extraordinaire Chris Owens, Tig & Bean's Caroline Hecht and Lily Costner, The Famous Winters' Alexander Garzone and Sean Kennedy, Big River Stomp's Jesse Burdick and Joe Fletcher, Joe Principe and Dave Hemingway from The Wrong Reasons. It doesn't really matter who McCurdy plays with on each track, each song resonates pure audial gold.
Bastard Children was recorded this past summer by Greg Holmes at Treading Thomas Records in Providence, who also assisted McCurdy and Samos with producing the album. The album is not just your average singer-songwriter folk record, McCurdy takes it to another level with his poetically morbid, dark and sometimes powerful lyrics and his ability to rock a guitar so hard that it doesn't even need an amplifier. Ranging from the gothic country styles of Johnny Cash, 60's folk influences like Neil Young and Bob Dylan to 90's alt-rock techniques that makes you think of guys like Eddie Vedder, Mark Lanegan and Kurt Cobain, McCurdy's music is as contemporary as it is timeless.
- Rob Duguay
"Dead Man's Pockets" is a track about stealing money from a corpse, with Samos strumming the dobro, Burdick plucking the banjo and Garzone pounding the drums along with McCurdy's guitar skills and gentle, cryptic voice that gives you a mental picture of being dirt poor in the woods and scavenging through a lifeless body to get a couple bucks. "The Quiet Man" features Costner and Hecht on backing vocals, Samos changing it up to an electric guitar and Owens on mandolin backing up McCurdy as he sings about loneliness and how sometimes the people who don't talk just want some company. "Underground" is my favorite ditty on Bastard Children, featuring Kennedy rocking a catchy guitar, Garzone doing what he does best on the drums and McCurdy echoing the thoughts of a serial killer. "One Of A Kind" has classic rock & roll rhythms and jumping beats as McCurdy, Fletcher, Principe and Hemenway bring the pain, but the pain feels oh so good. "Wicked King" is the most epic folk song I've heard in a long time, with McCurdy playing a solo acoustic guitar singing about how humanity is unaware of it's own doom and with the rich getting richer, hope seems to fade. I highly suggest you don't take my word on just a select few, grab the album and listen in for yourself.
Vudu Sister will be having it's album release show for Bastard Children at Local 121 on 121 Washington Street in Providence on May 4th with Tallahassee, The Famous Winters and Joe Fletcher & The Wrong Reasons sharing the stage. After that Keith will be playing at Java Madness in Wakefield, RI on May 12th and 990WBOB's Mondays on Blast at The Apartment on 373 Richmond Street in Providence on May 21st. There will surely be more shows from Vudu Sister in the future, but until then get yourself a copy of Vudu Sister's Bastard Children. It's a fantastic album that deserves to be listened to over and over and over again.
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