San Francisco Bay area guitarist Ken Husbands is a well-travelled man. He grew up in Massachusetts, lived in Paris for a few years then moved to Oakland, California, in 2005. Along the way he's gained a PhD and developed an electric guitar style that encompasses many influences from jazz, fusion and other genres yet avoids sounding derivative. Keepin' It Going
is credited to the Ken Husbands Trio. The trio is tight, the writing is fresh and the feel is upbeat. Keepin' It Going
is Husbands' third album as leader, his second with this trio lineup of bass guitarist Aaron Germain
and drummer Otto Huber
. Alongside Husbands' own compositions, both previous CDs featured guest vocalist Suzanna Smith
on covers of songs by Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell and Bjork. Keepin' It Going
is wholly instrumental, the compositions all originals.
Husbands describes title tune "Keepin' It Going" as evoking Weather Report
there's certainly something of Jaco Pastorius
in Germain's electric bass sound but Husbands' own warm, flowing, guitar adds a bluesy edge. "Goodbye Eddie," written by Germain, finds Husbands coming closest to the jazz guitar sound of legends such as Wes Montgomery
although Germain's bass gives it more of a fusion feel. "Lucky Seven" and "Almost Eleven" showcase a more contemporary sound, Husbands' guitar has a rawer edge to its sound and rhythmical twists and turns keep things interesting.
The album clocks in at just under 40 minutesno wasted minutes, no low points or filler. From the slippery, fluid funk of "East Coast Groupings" to the effortlessly sexy samba of "But I Don't" the catchy riffs, swinging grooves and general good-time vibes just keep on comingKeepin' It Going
really does keep it going.
East Coast Groupings; Lucky Seven; Keepin' It Going; Goodbye Eddie; Almost Eleven; But I Don't.
Ken Husbands: guitar; Aaron Germain: bass; Otto Huber: drums.