Album review: DAVE KILMINSTER – Scarlet – The Director’s Cut

DAVE KILMINSTER - Scarlet - The Director's Cut

Dave Kilminster is perhaps best known as a session guy – the one who answers Keith Emerson’s and Roger Waters’ call, and who has also appeared in Heather Findlay’s band more recently.  ‘Scarlet’ is Dave’s first solo album, perhaps surprisingly in a career that spans at least two decades.

For the most part this album is fused by a West Coast vibe, almost as if time is frozen somewhere back in the late seventies/early eighties.  All very tasteful and lovingly executed.  Throughout his approach is one of restraint only occasionally punctuated by an angry guitar (the end of ‘Chance’) and leavened throughout by Anne-Marie Helder’s backing vocals (Panic Room, Mostly Autumn).

On tracks like ‘Static’, and  ‘Big Blue’ Kilminster never sacrifices a good tune or vibe to a wailing guitar whilst a string quartet adds interest  to ‘Angel’ and ‘Brightest Star’ .

Although he describes the influences in his music as highly eclectic – as diverse as jazz trumpter Chet Baker  and Bjork for example - for the most part these are subjugated to ‘the vibe’ rather than particularly overt.

Dave’s vocal style and indeed the whole album reminds me of the solo stuff that Jakko Jakszyk put out in the 1990s whilst Robben Ford also comes to mind.  Kilminster never slips into bland, though, or ‘fusak’.

It’s essentially a muso’s album, and will find great appeal amongst his followers and those who admire refined guitar playing with a gentle but insistent funky undertow.  ****

Review by David Randall

David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.

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