Seeds and Stems (Proper)
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., Oct. 4, 2013
Over the course of decades as a solo act, Bill Kirchen has recorded for a variety of labels, most of which are out of business. Many of his previous recordings are therefore unavailable. To remedy this comes Seeds and Stems, a collection of his best known songs re-recorded with his current band. Kirchen certainly hasn't mellowed with age, as the full frontal assault of "Too Much Fun" professes. His guitar playing has matured into something special as well, something the bittersweet solo on the title track attests to in spades. Kirchen's outrageous sense of humor reveals itself on "Hot Rod Lincoln," the Commander Cody hit he originally revved, with riffs from a raft of rock's past. There's plenty of Kirchen's patented Dieselbilly as well, tunes like the über-twangy "Semi-Truck" and apocalyptic "Truck Stop at the End of the World." Those willing to laugh along with Kirchen and his swanky guitar will bust a gut on Seeds and Stems.