Wednesday 9 November 2011

Review: The Sheri Kershaw Band

The Sheri Kershaw Band - Kettle’s In The Kitchen (Independent)
If Sheri Kershaw’s name is familiar, perhaps it because she was married to Nik Kershaw for 20 years, and toured extensively with her ex-husband, providing back-up vocals. There’s nothing much on “Kettle’s In The Kitchen” that you’d connect with her previous life (certainly not the ‘pop’ years), as she performs a dozen contemporary folk-rock songs, with a distinct Americana vibe and an easy, relaxed feel to them. Kershaw’s splendid voice is the perfect vehicle for a collection of songs that are quietly addictive, relying on gentle stealth to work their way into the subconscious. Her band, Chris Brimley on bass and acoustic guitar and Martyn Hewitt playing electric guitar, provide sensitive backing and some fine musicianship.

I think I need to mention her voice again. It really is a wonderful instrument, and entirely suited to the material. Her songs touch on both personal and traditional themes, and generally come with a hook. The album commences with “You Don't See Me”, a soothing ballad and a plea for love, “Longing” works well with the band’s up-and-down arrangement complimenting the vocals, and the title track is a cool stripped back blues, which brings to mind the early recordings of both Michelle Shocked and Lucinda Williams. It’s an album that’s probably far too informal and intimate to get her back on the big stages, but if Kershaw and her band are playing a club near you, I heartily recommend investigation.
Rob F.

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