Best known as the Easy Star All Stars lead singer Kirsty Rock has created her own distinctive, soulful, and earthy reggae sound on her debut solo album “Slow Burn.”
Kirsty who came up in the 90’s Brooklyn music scene joined the All Star band as the lead vocalist and was the lead vocals for their 2003 album Dub Side of the Moon. With the blessing of the original lead singer, Clare Torry, she joined the touring version of Easy Star All-Stars and since then has toured in over 30 countries on 6 continents with the band.
“Slow Burn” was written on the road with Easy Star All-Stars and with her own long-running band Trumystic, as Rock found inspiration while in motion. Themes within the songs deal with how relationships unfolded and how political agendas came and went – and what was left in their wake.
With a busy tour schedule, no intention to be a solo artist, and no rush to put out the record, she left all expectations behind and let the songs evolve. Recording the songs at her home in Vermont, Rock collaborated with her friends to fully realize the new release.
The first few tracks completed were co-produced and mixed by Grammy-nominated producer (and longtime friend and collaborator) Matt Stein (Method Man & Redman, DMX, Jason Mraz, Bill Laswell, Blondie). The rest of the album brought in many of Rock’s closest collaborators in Easy Star All-Stars, including guitarist/vocalist Shelton Garner Jr. (who co-produced some of the songs), keyboardist/vocalist Elenna Canlas (who also co-produced the title track, while co-writing and performing on others), drummers Ivan Katz and Cliff Simpson, and the horn section of Jennifer Hill, Buford O’Sullivan, and Matt Bauder. Keyboardist Matt Goodwin – also a member of The Movement – sat in on some sessions, while bassist Nate Edgar of John Brown’s Body and The Nth Power, also laid down grooves. Easy Star All-Stars bassist Ras Droppa is a featured vocalist and bassist on the track “It’s Not The Same.” Other reggae veteran horn players, including Pam Fleming (Burning Brass), Anant Pradhan, and Billy Aukstick also contributed. As you can see, Rock really did call on her extended musical family to finish this labor of love.
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Slow Burn is a stunning “debut” for Kirsty Rock. And she is working on new songs and looking forward to bringing this music on the road with both ESA and on her own in the coming year.
By: Mercedes Romana