With his fiery guitar and lap steel playing, his trailblazing, instantly memorable songs and gritty, unvarnished vocals, Birchwood is among the most extraordinary young stars in the blues. Birchwood’s high-octane blues—at once deeply rooted, funky and up-to-the-minute—are played with passion and honest emotion. With his band feeding off his drive and exuberance, the striking 6’3” young man with his trademark Afro roams the stage (often barefoot), ripping out memorable guitar licks with ease, his soulful, rocks-and-gravel vocals firing up the crowd.
Birchwood, who attacks his guitar and lap steel with searing intensity, wrote and produced all 13 songs on PICK YOUR POISON. His richly detailed, hard-hitting originals run the emotional gamut from the humorously personal My Whiskey Loves My Ex to the gospel-inflected Even The Saved Need Saving to the hard truths of the topical Corporate Drone and Police State to the existential choice of the title track. The cutting-edge songs are made all the more impactful by Birchwood’s gruff vocals, his untamed musicianship and his band’s seemingly telepathic accompaniment. “I write and sing what I know,” says Birchwood, whose innovations are as expansive as his influences. “This album has a broad reach. It’s for young, old and everyone in between.”
Since the 2014 release of his Alligator Records debut, Don’t Call No Ambulance, Birchwood’s meteoric rise from playing small Florida clubs to headlining international festival stages is nothing short of phenomenal, as he continues to set the contemporary blues world on fire. The album received the BLUES MUSIC AWARD and LIVING BLUES CRITICS’ AWARD for BEST DEBUT ALBUM Of 2014, and he won the 2015 Blues Blast Rising Star Award. Selwyn and his band have crisscrossed the U.S. and Europe repeatedly, delivering unforgettable live performances. Rave reviews ran in publications from Rolling Stone to The Wall Street Journal, from The Chicago Tribune to The San Francisco Chronicle.
Selwyn Birchwood is forging new directions for the blues. The Washington Post calls him a “tough, indelibly modern next generation bluesman.” The Wall Street Journal says he is “fiery and original.” The hard-hitting, cutting-edge songs on Pick Your Poison, along with his incendiary live performances, prove without a doubt his status as the blues’ most sensational young talent.
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