Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Record Review - Sal Kimber

Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel
Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel

Not since Mia Dyson first burst – gritty and real – onto the Australian underground roots music scene have we seen anyone of the calibre, of the snake-shimmer-soul of Sal Kimber and this is a goddamn fact.  Possessed of a voice which not only raises the dead but reinvigorates their very loins, Kimber has slowly but surely been growing, emerging, honing her songwriting skill – already razor sharp – whipping the Rollin’ Wheel into a deep, dark, country frenzy, the likes of which are few and far between my friends, make no mistake about that.

Here, Kimber and the Wheel unleash their second full-length effort (the first with this particular band actually), one that’s been a while in coming, but one which makes no apologies, one which just exists in its own murky world of song and story, of melancholy and joy.  Not only that, but Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel heralds, to my mind, the coming of our next roots star – this is a record that drips with sensuality, it reeks of the dirt and the grime that epitomises country music, the sweat and shimmy of old time soul, the power of rock ‘n’ roll, all encased within the inherent realism of an Australian artist singing from the heart like she knows no other way.

And therein lies the reason why this eponymous record is so good – whether ensconced within the darkness of ‘Rocking Chair’, the boogie shimmer of ‘Do Right’ or the reticent, shy and retiring ‘Your Town’, you believe what you’re hearing, because Kimber believes what she’s singing.  It’s all well and good to pen a handy song and have the instrumental chops to back it up (as Kimber does, and indeed, as her whole band do in spades), but it’s another to take your listener to the same place you are, whilst up on the stage or in the studio, laying the song in question down.  There is absolutely no doubt that there’s more to come from Kimber and The Rollin’ Wheel – the only question is, how soon do we get to hear it?

Samuel J. Fell

Published in November issue of Rhythms Magazine

Sal Kimber & The Rollin' Wheel is available now through Vitamin Records

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