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Ken Husbands Trio: Keepin' It Going

Bruce Lindsay By

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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 minutes—no 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 coming—Keepin' It Going really does keep it going.

Track Listing: East Coast Groupings; Lucky Seven; Keepin' It Going; Goodbye Eddie; Almost Eleven; But I Don't.

Personnel: Ken Husbands: guitar; Aaron Germain: bass; Otto Huber: drums.

Title: Keepin' It Going | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: First Orbit Sounds


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